'First Read': Hillary the Electable

First Read weighs in this morning on the latest NBC/WSJ polling showing Hillary up over Obama in the primaries and also over Giuliani in the general.

The piece echos two things that I have said here recently.  One, Hillary is running in the general right now, not the primary.  Second, these leads she is now showing in the general election match ups will only strength her hand in the primaries, given the lust for electability among many primary voters.


Is she basically putting Obama and Edwards in her rear view mirror and focusing on that thin slice of moderate and independents that will determine the general election?  Is this a mistake on Hillary Clinton's part?  If it is I don't think Obama or Edwards have the strength to capitalize on it.

I think the math tells us Clinton's strategy is working.  I don't see Edwards or Obama being able to put together enough delegates to win.  What will it take to turn around their fortunes?  

Furthermore, I see the credibility of many early Clinton detractors as seriously damaged.  We all have read and heard over and over the claims that she couldn't win in the general election.  What will their claim be?   Will it be any more credible then their claims that she couldn't win?

Tags: general election, Hillary Clinton, Presidential Race (all tags)



Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

Furthermore, I see the credibility of many early Clinton detractors as seriously damaged.  We all have read and heard over and over the claims that she couldn't win in the general election.  What will their claim be?   Will it be any more credible then their claims that she couldn't win?

This is exactly the danger of replying solely on 'electability' to win election.

by areyouready 2007-08-02 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

Well, what else do they have really?  But, yes, the electability canard is folding quickly like a house of cards.

by bookgrl 2007-08-02 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

Two things. Electability and favorability are their trump cards. LOL. Look at Obama's horrible unfavorable number just after one week's little spat.

by areyouready 2007-08-02 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

You know I think that Bush/Cheney thing hurt Obama's among the dems because I think his unfavourables is going up in the general elections because of his unfavourables rising among dems . I am shocked his unfavourables are that high among Dems , and that went up in just 1 week.

by lori 2007-08-02 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

George has the data, but I don't believe that's the entire reason. Obama's favorables were always in 60s in past Ras. polls.

by areyouready 2007-08-02 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

someone should diary it , its worth discussing.

by lori 2007-08-02 06:53AM | 0 recs
I am just a regular guy and a solid Democrat

I have always thought that Obama reminded me a bit of Lieberman.  I always that he was a little too sanctimonious and a bit arrogant.

Thats just my opinion but I wonder if despite his rock star coverage, if more Democrats don't have similar opinions.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-02 06:55AM | 0 recs

Rasmussen today in GE match-ups:

Guliani 46
Clinton 45

Thompson 46
Clinton 45

Obama has a 6 pt lead over both candidates

Edwards has a 7 pt lead over Guliani and double digit lead over Thompson.

These results were issued this week with the Clinton results listed today.


Hillary under-performs with respect to the generic ballot, while Edwards and Obama are much closer to the generic ballot.

by BDM 2007-08-02 06:59AM | 0 recs

what happened to yesterday's NBC poll;

Clinton 47
Guiliani 41

Obama 45
Guiliani 40

I guess that goes down the toilet right , Oh well.

by lori 2007-08-02 07:03AM | 0 recs
Ras has also has Bush up in the high 30s

His numbers don't always make sense.

If you think for a second that Fred Thompson would beat Clinton if the election were held today then you and Rasmussen are smoking the same stuff.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-02 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Ras has also has Bush up in the high 30s

Cherrypicking polls - typical Kool Aid behavior.

by Populism2008 2007-08-02 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Ras has also has Bush up in the high 30s

When 95% of polls across the nation are showing Clinton with a big lead, its pretty hard for anyone to cherry pick. The results keep telling us the same story.

Sometimes, the truth hurts

by fightingLadyinblue 2007-08-02 08:15AM | 0 recs
I have the same feeling

That's my first impression for me as well. He seems very arrogant due to his rock-star status mainly created by the media. He likes to scold other democrats instead of GOPers.

I find his personality is not attractive at all.

by areyouready 2007-08-02 07:02AM | 0 recs
He is a scold

That is another annoying trait of his.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-02 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: I am just a regular guy and a solid Democrat

That is interesting.  Is that the reason?  Is the empty rhetoric and transparent parody of a movement another reason?  I wonder how his unfavorables breakdown.

by justinh 2007-08-02 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

you are right ' to know me is to like me ' seems to be working in the opposite

by lori 2007-08-02 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Behind Already, Unfavorable just adds woos

AS it is, Clinton is expanding her lead among the Dem field.

Now with Obama's unfavorable going up, that only increases the pressure & the urgency for his campaign.

How do you expect to catch a candidate who is getting stronger while your Negatives are simulatenously going up. That's not a formula for a rally.

No voter registration drive will fix that. If your own negatives are inching up, how do you expect new voters to automatically unite & rally behind your candidacy over clinton or edwards.

Some Obama supporters falsely think that a massive new voter drive equates to an automatic support for Obama.

At best, he may perform better among new voters ( and that's a big IF at this point) who they can register, but Clinton & even Edwards will get their significant share of votes from these new voters.

There will be No Dramatic shocking difference between voters as a whole & new voters who you can sign-up. They watch, listen, read, surf the same news outlets available to general voters.

by fightingLadyinblue 2007-08-02 07:13AM | 0 recs
Signing up new voters isn't a way to win a primary

I don't care how much money they raise, it is not enough to fund any significant voter registration drives.

If you look at the operations you see in a general election for instance, they are labor intensive, expensive, and usually driven by third party groups.

No individual campaign is going to sign up any meaningful amount of new voters on their own.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-02 07:25AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

The national polls are irrevelant on the electability.

We have to look at state by state polls.

A generic Democratic nominee will win all of the states Kerry carried in 04.

252 ev. plus IA and NM. states that narrowly went for Gore in 00 and Bush in 04. = 264 ev.  

We have to look at polls in

by nkpolitics 2007-08-02 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

You know I always make the same point , it is those states that matter . period .

I see any of our candidates doing well in those states.

by lori 2007-08-02 07:25AM | 0 recs
Ohio is going blue in '08

I just think it has to.

In a reversal of fortunes since '04, Democrats now basically control all statewide offices in Ohio, and Strickland the gov, is fairly popular.  No more Ken Blackwell election shenanigans.

Add in some early polling that shows Hillary beating Giuliani head to head in Ohio, and I am very optimistic.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-02 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

There are a couple of Kerry states that might be in play.  Romney could compete in Michigan.  Giuliani could compete in New Jersey.  Brownback could compete on the Moon.

by Steve M 2007-08-02 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

Strangely enough, Giuliani has also shown very strong in Pennsylvania.  

by georgep 2007-08-02 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

Giuliani makes PA, NJ, and NY purple vs. Obama

by sepulvedaj3 2007-08-02 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

I don't think any Republican has a shot at winning New York.  This week's poll had Obama ahead of Giuliani by 11 points in a hypothetical matchup.

by Steve M 2007-08-02 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

Well, we have data, courtesy from Quinnipiac, for Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, which all 3 show major advantages for Clinton over Obama.  Arkansas is probably a safe guess to be a strong Clinton advantage at this point.  There was also a recent Virginia poll that claimed that Clinton would turn Virginia blue.   Not sure about Missouri and Colorado, I don't think we have data for that.

by georgep 2007-08-02 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

How do you expect to catch a candidate who is getting stronger while your Negatives are simulatenously going up.

You go back and get some experience.

Hillary's charge of "naive" stuck and is now included in almost every news story about Obama's foreign policy. That's a death knell for a candidate. Ask Dukakis or Dean.

by hwc 2007-08-02 07:25AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

Exactly! Whenever they bring up Obama's foreign policy speech, they first bring up last week's dust-up.

That's not the place you want to be in. LOL.

by areyouready 2007-08-02 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

Is she basically putting Obama and Edwards in her rear view mirror and focusing on that thin slice of moderate and independents that will determine the general election?  Is this a mistake on Hillary Clinton's part?  If it is I don't think Obama or Edwards have the strength to capitalize on it.

I think Hillary is just being Hillary.  She's with us on a lot of issues, but she's basically a moderate Dem.

I think she has too long a track record to reinvent herself in a dramatic way over the course of an election season, and in this day and age I'm not sure any candidate still has the option to run to one extreme during the primary season and straight down the middle for the general election.  Everything you say is all over YouTube and it's going to catch up with you.

And the people who claim that Hillary can't be elected have always been silly.  Nobody can make a prediction like that with certainty.

by Steve M 2007-08-02 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Wait until the General-Woman voters

During the start of this campaign, many people especially Non Clinton supporters in the primary & even some Republicans have dramatically UNDERESTIMATED Women voters.

Today, we are seeing just how powerful & significant women voters are in Clinton's success.

Her lead margin in both national & individual states come almost entirely from Women voters.

Obama & Edwards have held their own share when it comes to male voters. But they lose badly when women voters are added in.

But the best part for Clinton is you will see a much stronger show of support for her among Women if she Officially becomes the Dem Nominee.

Once reality sets in, millions upon millions of mothers, daughters, grandmothers & even Fathers who love their daughters dearly enough to want to see a woman become president for their daughters future- (including millions of them being registered independents & of course even Republican women ) will support Clinton in this historic first for our country.

Lets put it this way come the general election, Unless you truly HATE the Clintons or truly are one very loyal Republican- Most Women of All Races, Ethinicity, Religion, or Region of the country  WILL ATLEAST strongly consider voting for a Woman for President. ( Especially when it really becomes a reality that she will be thisclose to winning & making history)

If she is the nominee, you will see real excitement among women voters regardless of stripes.

That's going to be the biggest block of voters ever. Bigger than any ethnic group or religion.

That's one thing that HRC has that others in the field won't have .

And anyone who says that come the general, women voters will not have any special affinity towards Clinton in being the First Woman President is either a Woman in Denial or a Man. LOL!

You will always have a small percentage of women who will not vote for her no matter what- but that will be small.

REMEMBER, If Clinton carries just even Half of All Women voters ( women comprise over 62
% of all voters in a general election), she would win this election. Of course, it is almost impossible for her to just win half.

As the First Ever Real Major Party Woman Presidential candidate, Clinton will received a much higher number than half of all women voters.

She will be a very strong candidate in the general. Wait until she is actually the nominee.

And this is coming from a Democratic woman voter who will probably support Edwards in the primary. ( unless Clark jumps in)

If she is the nominee, you will see a surge of solidarity among women voters. ( her women detractors will be in a small minority)

by fightingLadyinblue 2007-08-02 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Wait until the General-Woman voters

I agree with you, but women are 54% of the electorate, I think.

by bookgrl 2007-08-02 07:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Wait until the General-Woman voters

You're right bookgirl, its 54% for the electorate & 62% for the likely women voters in general. Regardless, it is the largest block of any voter.

by fightingLadyinblue 2007-08-02 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Wait until the General-Woman voters

If Clinton can increase turnout of women voters who do not vote often she will add millions possibly even tens of millions of voters to the Democratic column. That will give her the electoral votes. At the same time the GOP may have less of a turnout of their voters than normal if they nominate a GOP candidate who is not popular with the base. If Bloomberg runs as well that would make it almost possible for the GOP to win based on the state polls that have been done so far.  

by robliberal 2007-08-02 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Wait until the General-Woman voters

Yes Rob.

Again, since majority of political consultants are men & this phenomenon is happening for the First time in our country- many of these men do not understand how Women voters will react to Hillary Clinton once she is really, truly the nominee.

I don't care if you're a  woman who is single , married, a mother, a grandma.
Most Women, your average Jane will feel some pride & honor when they start seeing an TV or Internet Campaign Ad of a "Electing the First Woman President in our History".

This will only intensify more in the last 90 days of the general election when Clinton is in a close race against a Republican Man for the Presidency.

I will not be surprised to see groups of "Republican Women for Clinton"  groups start sprouting in many parts of the country in the general IF she is indeed the nominee.

by fightingLadyinblue 2007-08-02 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Even High school girls

I could already see thousands of High school girls across the nation who are not even eligible to vote excitedly volunteering their time to elect the " First Woman President".

People who think this is not going to be a big deal IF we she does make it to the general will be in for a Big surprise.

History teachers alone will make a Big deal of this in their classrooms. Many parents will talk to their daughters about this in the dinner table about some historical event.

Whether you're a Black woman, a White Woman, an Asian or Hispanic Woman- this is a " Woman thing" that most of us will relate to.

by fightingLadyinblue 2007-08-02 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Same Time in 2003


Below is a poll taken by ARG in September of 2003.
Just about the exact same period that we have today.

52% of voters wants someone new in the White House. Only 40% want Bush back.

Fast Forward, November 2004- Bush wins majority over Kerry.

Point here is it is way too early for the General. Its the Primary that is happening in about 4 months ( If Chris Bowers is correct in his prediction that Iowa & NH will happen this December 2007)

Polls for the Primary at this point cannot be ignored. See Bowers & Armstrongs diary yesterday.

Many brushed aside women voters in the primary as recent as January of this year.

Look today, HRC's lead margin over the Democratic field comes almost entirely from Women democratic voters.

Again, people ( especially men( are now brushing off women support in the general for a fellow woman in HRC.

You will have to wait & see how the affinity women vote comes into play once Reality & Excitement sets in that America is actually about to elect the First ever Woman for President.

The phenomenon has happened in any other Industrialzed country ( in fact even 3rd world)
just like America. When Margaret Thatcher of UK, Mier of Israel, Mary Robinson of Ireland, Campbell of Canada all run for the highest post- women voters overwhelmingly supported & encourage their candidacy as the FIRST Woman President or Prime Minister of their nation.

Even in the Parliamentary form of Gov't, there was so much more support & pressure coming from Women voters that helped get these women to power.

Remember this. A typical Democratic liberal netroot woman party activist who may dislike Clinton right now or a typical conservative Republican woman activists who hates Clinton IS NOT YOUR Average Jane voter in the street.

Your typical Jane voter who is the majority of women voters will be:

1) your independent registered woman voter

  1. your mainstream  registered Democratic woman voter who is not a party activist nor really glued to politics
  2. your mainstream registered Republican woman voter who is not your " Ann Coulter" conservative activists.

Its the millions of regular american Jane's out there who will make the difference in the general election once reality sets in that a Woman is actually about to be President if I vote for her.

These are the ones that are not registering YET in August 2007. But if she is the nominee, that's the block that will take it to the next level.

The feeling of Pride & Honor can be much more understood by a woman or a minority than your typical White male.

http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?I D=732

by fightingLadyinblue 2007-08-02 09:05AM | 0 recs
Hillary Clinton is the status-quo candidate

Regardless of what the Media says, real voters want change and not more status-quo.

by DerekLarsson 2007-08-02 09:43AM | 0 recs
I agree 100%

However I think most "real" voters view Edwards, Obama, and Hillary Clinton as legit change.  I know some candidates are trying to play a different angle and suggest that this candidate or that candidate are not change agents.  But unfortunately for them, most "real" voters are not buying that.

A progressive Democatic (which all three are) will be a huge change from a neo-con, right wing Republican.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-02 09:50AM | 0 recs
Missed the whole Point...

The point was that voting for Hillary Clinton is not a vote for change, but a vote for the status-quo.

.She says that troops will remain in Iraq for 10 years.
.She voted for the U.S. Military Tribunals Act
.She still supports the U.S. Patriot Act
.She voted against a ban of the use of civilian-killing Cluster Bombs (illegal WMDs)
.She voted against a ban on Land Mines
.She has made public statements (like Cheney) trying to portray the Sept. 11 attack as justification for killing people in Iraq.

Let's not fool ourselves. Hillary Clinton is not legit change here.
Her U.S. Senate track-record proves this.

Kucinich, Edwards, and Obama are choices make a clean break.

by DerekLarsson 2007-08-02 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton is the status-quo candidate

Youre right, people want change. That's why the Democratic brand is doing better than Bush's GOP brand.

But if you're implying that Obama is not status quo & people want change, why does he continue to fall behind Clinton even among Democrats? ( in fact, he;s losing steam instead of gaining)

Even among our own party, my candidate Edwards or Obama cannot even come close enough to Hillary.

In other words, your defination of Change & someone's defenition of who represents Change is the disconnect.

If there is clamor for change & Obama represents change, why does he continue to struggle inspite of the hundreds of Millions of Free Mainstream publicity that he received in the last 18 months & his large war chest?

We are 4 months aways from Two very important primary states, he is actually losing ground instead of gaining.

Personally, my candidate for real change is Wes Clark. Unfortunately, I don't think he is running. So my next best candidate for Change is Edwards.

But many Democrats look to Hillary Clinton as their candidate. I can live with that.

by fightingLadyinblue 2007-08-02 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton is the status-quo candidate

I don't buy your logic.

Obama is behind in the polls so that means people should give up their desire for change and go back Hillary Clinton?

Obama is doing very well in fundraising.
Obama is winning in South Carolina.
There are 6 months to go before anyone even votes.

These "polls" do not mean a damn thing, and are likely rigged by the Mainstream Media,  which clearly is pushing a Clinton .vs. Guiliani choice on to the public (in other words: no choice).

All these people who are supporting Hillary Clinton, are really supporting:

1. The U.S. Miliarty Tribunals Act

  1. The U.S. Patriot Act.
  2. U.S. Involvement & violence in Iraq for 10 years.
  3. Permanent U.S. Military Bases and Oil-profiteering in Iraq
  4. Corrupt Insurance-Company (for-profit) Health Care.
  5. Opposition to banning Cluster Bombs
  6. Opposition to banning Land Mines
  7. Full support for NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO, etc.
  8. National ID requirement to track your movements
  9. Star Wars militarization of outer space

There is no meaningful change to be found here with Hillary Clinton.  

If Democrats were smart they would back Dennis Kucinich.  Edwards & Obama are less principled, but at least offer some policy changes.
Hillary Clinton is the worst possible thing that the Democrats could do.  This is a status-quo vote.

by DerekLarsson 2007-08-02 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton is the status-quo candidate

No, I am not saying give up Obama. If you are supporting him, good for you.

What I'm saying I don't agree with you that Obama is the " Candidate of Change" And so are others who are not supporting Obama. He tries to give you that image but his big donors are still the same donors who give to HRC & the rest of the field.

Its Edwards who would be the biggest CHANGE from Status quo.

by fightingLadyinblue 2007-08-02 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton is the status-quo candidate

You may be right.  I've been tilting back and forth between Edwards and Obama.  

Dennis Kucinich is the big change candidate though.  
Watch this, it outclasses everyone else:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgreLLMbb Zk

by DerekLarsson 2007-08-02 05:43PM | 0 recs
Re: 'First Read': Hillary the Electable

I think Obama does at least get it that it's "now or never"- which is why he has been so vocal in the last week or so.  Unfortunately for him, and fortunately for Hillary supporters, he is saying all the wrong things.  Edwards, in many ways, is running a "losing" campaign- you can't be that far behind and not do something explosive to shake things up- and accusing Hillary of taking Newscorp money is not going to do it.  You have to give up a little dignity to get in the mud with the frontrunner to try to unseat them when you are trailing like that- he probably has too much self-respect and will go out graciously.

by reasonwarrior 2007-08-02 06:55PM | 0 recs


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