It isn’t time to get too excited (or, alternatively, slit your wrists) over the widely-trumpeted USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll headlined: “Poll majority say they’d be likely to vote for Clinton.” What’s being reported is that 53% of respondents say they’d be likely to vote for Hillary Clinton if she runs in ’08. True enough. But here’s the breakdown: 29% are “very likely” to vote for her, while 24% are “somewhat likely.” That 29% represents the hard-core support for the Democratic Party; those people would vote for anyone the Dems nominate. The remaining 24% are “soft” Democrats and swing voters who are willing to consider voting for Hillary, given that no opponent is specified in the question.
The fact that 53% of poll respondents will, in the abstract, seriously consider voting for any given Democratic candidate for President is hardly surprising, especially when the poll is taken over a weekend, and is not, I suspect, a survey of likely voters. Conversely, 39% said they are “not at all likely” to vote for Clinton. That represents the hard-core support for the Republican party, plus some additional voters who just can’t stand Hillary. This doesn’t strike me as a particularly impressive performance; it took John Kerry a long time to get his negatives that high. Moreover, despite Hillary’s tireless efforts to cast herself as a moderate, most people aren’t buying it. 54% said they consider her a liberal, while only 30% called her a moderate. Bear in mind that the 30% includes an unknown number of liberals who actually believe Hillary is one of them, but know that it’s in her interest to call her a moderate.
On the whole, this isn’t an especially impressive poll performance. I think it’s true that some voters have forgotten why they ultimately found Mrs. Clinton so annoying. But if she runs in ’08, they may be reminded.
UPDATE: RedState has more, including the observation that Democrats outnumbered Republicans in the sample by 51% to 40%. That’s too far from the actual numbers for the poll to have any value, as reported.
- Subscribe now!... Get rid of ADs!Support Power Line...VIP MembershipPresentsPower Line
Most Read on Power Line
Subscribe to Power Line by Email
Find us on Facebook
“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill