With all of the current problems of the GOP and the Bush White House, TIME's Jay Carney (Poll: A Surprising G.O.P. Edge for '08, 3.29.07) wonders why the leading democrats for president continue to struggle against their Republican rivals?
TIME's recent poll and others consistently show Rudy and McCain out polling Clinton and Edwards. Only Obama gives Rudy and McCain a run for their money.
Carney suspects that it's coming down to how people feel about the individual candidates and less about party affiliation. I agree. Personal qualities of candidates is increasingly trumping party labels at a time when the public is fed-up with both major political parties.
As I indicated in yesterday's post, a major problem for Democrats is that Americans know AND dislike Hillary Clinton. And people still don't have much of a feel for Edwards or Obama. On the other hand, Rudy and McCain are well-known AND well-liked.
However, likability is just one in a string of factors people use in deciding who to vote for. Additionally, the campaigns of serious candidates can be upended by the tactics of clever opponents or by unforeseen events.