USA Today writes about a poll showing that a majority of Americans may vote for Hillary Clinton in 2008. However, I think the results are less significant than the article presents.
For the first time, a majority of Americans say they are likely to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday. ...
Voters under 30 were by far the most likely to say they would support a woman for president. More than half of them said they were "very likely" to vote for a woman, compared with less than one-third of those 50 and older. ...
•Strongest support from those with the lowest income. Sixty-three percent of those with annual household incomes of $20,000 or less were likely to support her, compared with 49% of those with incomes of $75,000 or higher.
First, the poll was of "all Americans", not likely or registered voters, and this is reflected in the age and income breakdown. Young people don't vote as much as older people, and (I think) very poor people don't vote as much average people. Second, the poll was taken over a weekend, when Democrats typically poll much stronger than Republicans. John Hinderaker at Power Line also points out that it took Kerry a long time to get his negatives this high. From the article:
In the poll, 29% were "very likely" to vote for Clinton for president if she runs in 2008; 24% were "somewhat likely." Seven percent were "not very likely" and 39% were "not at all likely" to vote for her.
Alexander K. McClure points out that New England liberals don't tend to win elections, but it's important to remember that Hillary is from
Arkansas. [Xrlq writes in the comments that she's from Park Ridge, IL, but she did live in Arkansas for a while.] She's New York to the core, but I'll bet she can dig into her roots at the right time and summon up some good-old-girl uh, charm. Well, assuming she has any charm at all, which hasn't yet been evident to me.
McQ is the only rightist (I think?) I've seen who looks worried about the poll. He notes that the article says:
Clinton commands as much strong support - but more strong opposition - as George W. Bush did in a Newsweek poll in November 1998, two years before the 2000 election. She is in slightly stronger position than then-vice president Al Gore, the eventual 2000 Democratic nominee, was in 1998.
I think the "more strong opposition" is key, and I highly doubt many of the 39% who said they wouldn't vote for her are going to change their minds. Good impressions can be lost very quickly, but bad impressions last. Once the campaign starts the negatives for both candidates are going to skyrocket, and I doubt whoever the Republican is will start as far in the hole as Hillary.
The article quotes two political pundits, one from Hillary's political action committee and one from Emily's List, a leftist group that works hard to get leftist women into office and keep right-wing women out. No one from the right was consulted on the importance of this survey. I sincerely hope the left is drinking the kool-aid and that Hillary is nominated in 2008.