Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hillary's Handicaps
(Edited to add Quote of the Day.)

ABC News/Washington Post poll, published yesterday: 42 percent of those surveyed said they would "never" vote for Hillary Clinton for president. Some of that is gender-related--an earlier poll found that 27 percent of voters wouldn't vote for a woman no matter who it was, and no matter what party she represented. (One third of that group said it was because "women are not up to the job"; one tenth said that the presidency is "a man's job." What year is this again?) But Hillary, in addition to being female, approaches a presidential run with some of the most significant negatives any candidate has ever been stuck with.

The Post wrote about Hillary yesterday under the headline "Clinton is a politician not easily defined," and the polling shows it. For example, she's more popular among self-described liberal Democrats--despite the blogstorm of opposition to her--than among self-described Democratic moderates.

But those negatives: 73 percent of Repugs have an unfavorable view of her, while 50 percent of Democrats have a favorable view of John McCain, a likely rival in 2008. She's viewed as more liberal than John Kerry. And there's the 42 percent "never" figure. Campaigns are about shaping and changing perceptions, but it seems clear right now Hillary would be starting in a deep, deep hole. Not only will a hard nut of the electorate resist hearing her message no matter what it is, but the media will be against her--especially if her opponent were McCain, a media darling.

Earlier this week over at Best of the Blogs, blackdogred said:
I waver bipolarly on all aspects of Political Hillaryism except on this one very critical issue: Anyone who can make wingnut heads explode in a froth of rabid sexism and pure genuine primal hate has tremendous potential political power. What that means and whether it goes and where it goes if it does and whether it should and what will result are of course debatable, endlessly.
I agree that Hillary has tremendous political power. My fear is that it will be used to force Democrats into a landslide electoral defeat at a moment in history where a landslide victory was equally possible but for the candidate at the top of the ticket.

Quote of the Day: From World O'Crap, on what wingnut pundits keep saying about Iraq: "[T]he problem isn’t that we’re losing the war in Iraq, the problem is that America doesn’t believe the people who keep telling us that we’re not losing the war in Iraq. In other words, the issue isn’t product performance, it’s spokesmodel credibility."

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?