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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hillary Clinton Not So Inevitable

There is a bit of buzz around the blogosphere about a couple recent surveys/polls and while they make for interesting reading and debate, politics can and usually does turn on a dime, so it is all taken with a grain of salt.

With that said, lets take a look.

Florida: Democrat vs Republican

In a potential match up between Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton, Giuliani wins at 50-43 percent.

Republican Rudy Giuliani, shown here campaigning yesterday at the NASCAR Nextel Cup Ford 400 race in Homestead, is the most popular presidential candidate in Florida, with 57 percent of voters willing to consider voting for him, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll.

In a potential matchup with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Giuliani wins 50-43 percent. Republicans Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney also beat her, although their wins are within the margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Clinton is the only candidate, Democrat or Republican, with higher unfavorable than favorable ratings; 45 percent of voters have an unfavorable opinion of her, while 38 percent have a favorable opinion.

Back in August I asked if the DNC stripping Florida of all its delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, because Florida moved up its presidential primary to January 29, would hand Florida to the Republicans, and in this article, I may have gotten my answer.

The boycott of Florida by the Democratic candidates over the state's renegade early primary could come back to haunt the party, according to the poll. Statewide, 26% of independent voters and 33% of undecided voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who shunned Florida before the Jan. 29 primary.

Iowa: Democrat vs Democrat

According to the the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll (PDF file), Sen. Barack Obama beats Sen. Hillary Clinton 2-1 as the most honest and trustworthy candidate. She has less support in Iowa than nationally in trust to handle a variety of specific issues. Obama now runs evenly with her on the topic of Iraq. And she's third in Iowa among men.

From ABC:

Most Democratic likely voters in Iowa, 55 percent, say they're more interested in a "new direction and new ideas" than in strength and experience, compared with 49 percent in July -- a help to Obama, who holds a substantial lead among "new direction" voters.

New Hampshire: Republican vs Republican

In the Republican race in another critical state, meanwhile, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gained ground in a CNN/WMUR New Hampshire Presidential Primary Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire.

The poll’s analysis, released Monday afternoon, said Romney’s gain has been “mostly at the expense of Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson.” While Romney “appears strong on domestic issues, foreign policy may be a potential Achilles heel in the coming weeks,” the analysis says.

Polls change, surveys change, people rise and fall fast in politics, especially after some major gaffe where a politicians sticks their foot into their mouth publicly, or a scandal hits, so I fully expect these numbers to continue to fluctuate.

What this does tell us though is that Hillary Clinton has a very high unfavorable rating, she is not seen to be upfront nor honest and married men seem not to like her at all, which can only help the other Democratic contenders as the vie for the Democratic nomination.

Hillary Clinton, her team and many others, myself included, thought she would be inevitable for the Democratic nomination, but recent gaffes, flip flopping over the illegal aliens driver's licenses issue, not once but 6 times, her campaign being caught planting questions and audiences as well as the campaign finance scandals that have plagued her going all the way back to her Senate campaign all are starting to factor in and she has lost that assumed "inevitability".

All in all, the horse race just got a bit more interesting.