3.27.2007

50% Say No to Hillary

According to a Harris Interactive poll released today, half of the country's voters would not vote for Senator Hillary Clinton for president.

50%! Ouch!

Has there ever been a 1st time candidate for president with the negatives of Hillary Clinton? I don't think so.

If nominated, Hillary's negatives suggest disaster for the Democrats in the fall of '08. Here's why:

1) Even with sky high negatives, Hillary Clinton can win the Democratic nomination. All she has to do is win pluralities in enough primaries, and she has the 30-35% of activist Democrats to do so. Additionally, the front-loaded primaries of '08, which includes New York and California, make Hillary the favorite given her big money and total name ID.

2) But when her campaign pivots towards the November vote, it'll be hit with what appears to be an impenetrable wall of profound general voter antipathy. For example, the poll shows that an unbelievable 69% of seniors (age 62+) won't support her--nor will most (52%) of married women.

Hillary is essentially the Democrat Newt Gingrich. Both are smart, ambitious and have their own fiercely loyal band of adherents; however, neither is much loved by the public.

Gingrich seems to understand his limitations and appears to have set his sights, instead, on becoming the conservative VP to a popular but moderate presidential nominee. For example, a Rudy-Gingrich ticket maximizes Gingrich's political strengths while minimizing his weaknesses.

Hillary, on the other hand, has made no such adjustment. She's 'in it to win it' as she's fond of saying. But it's still early with plenty of time for recalibrations.