Articles and Analysis


POLL: Gallup 08 Favorables

Additional analysis from the recent USA Today/Gallup national survey of 1,012 adults (conducted 8/3 through 8/5) finds:

  • Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has the highest favorable rating (55%) and the highest net favorable rating (+23) of eight possible presidential candidates. Sen. Barack Obama has a net favorable rating of +14, former Sen. John Edwards +12, and former Sen. Fred Thompson +11.
    Combined results from the four most recent Gallup surveys finds 92% of Democrats with a post-graduate education rate Sen. Barack Obama favorably while 86% rate Sen. Hillary Clinton favorably. Among Democrats with a high school education or less, 66% rate Obama favorably while 86% rate Clinton favorably.



There you have it. The dumber you are, the more likely you are to view Hillary more favorably than Obama.



Hillary's -2 net favorability is as impressive as it is stubbornly immutable.

And Democratic Party institutions actually *want* to nominate her.

With enemies like these, what DOES the GOP need in order to win??



It's fair to say that whomever becomes their party's nominee will begin to see their favorable ratings plummet, including Obama's.



And Hillary's, to a lesser but perhaps even more marginally critical extent.


Bryan :

As soon as Giuliani feels the social conservative wrath of Brownback and Huckabee, et al., that Jimmy Walker spring in his step will turn into a stumble.


Chantal - To assume that applies equally is erroneous. A candidate's ability to be likeable and charismatic can be a legitimate counterforce to the raised negatives brought about by a general election campaign; the last two Democratic nominees had serious problems in that department, and Hillary Clinton does as well. On the other hand, the nomination of Obama or Edwards would represent a genuine break with that self-destructive pattern by the Democratic party, and this is just one more set of numbers on top of a pile of statistics that proves it.



Amen, Shadow. I felt that the ticket in 04 should've been reversed: Edwards for Pres, Kerry for VP. That ticket has a charismatic front-man, with a seasoned vet to "balance" the ticket and lend it credibility. Sound familiar? It was the winning formula for the GOP in 2000.

The last time the Dems nominated someone with any level of charisma, they won: 92. Look at the rest of 'em. Pathetic.

Hopefully they learn from their self-destructive impulses. In this case, not only are their two most charismatic candidates enjoying far more broad appeal, but they also seem to be much truer to party values.

Could anything be more self-destructive than choosing the candidate with the worst chance of winning a general election, and yet most likely to betray your values should the candidate manage to win?

And yet, that's the Dem frontrunner, in a nutshell. Brilliant.



As far as self-destructive is concerned, nothing could be worse than an Edwards ticket. His vain attempt to lure primary voters (read "lefties") to his campaign has him running on an populist/anti-poverty/progressive platform.

As a result, rerunning Bobby Kennedy's tragic 1968 bid for the nomination has gotten him absolutely nowhere. Aside from Iowa, in which he's been campaigning for over a year now, his numbers are dismal. Hillary is practically tied with him in NC and she and Obama have him licked in SC; so much for the favorite son.

As much as I sympathize with the issues Edwards has chosen to highlight, it is not a winning strategy for the 21st Century.

Maybe an Obama candidacy would do better at the outset, but his lukewarm performance in debates, his rambling answers to questions, and the always ephemeral "rock star" status bestowed on him by the fickle media doesn't bode well for a grueling national campaign.

Like it or not, Hillary is the best the Democrats have. Though her favorables are not very good, the Republicans have a long long primary campaign to sort things out, with Thompson yet to jump in, and Giuliani yet to be the target of a concerted vitriolic social conservative campaign...It should be bruising.



Lukewarm debate performances? He was clearly the best performer at each of the last 3 debates...the logo "debate" drew praise across the board, from gay activists to straight observers across the board...the AFL-CIO forum where all commentators thought he effectively rebuked his critics, and the YearlKos forum where he received a standing ovation.

Meanwhile, Hillary was the most booed candidate in 2 of those 3 debates.

I have to wonder if you're actually watching the debates, or are somewhat partisan, as your comment seems to echo the "Hillary inevitable" meme her campaign is pushing.



Actually, I am watching the debates with a critical eye. While I lament the lack of class conscienceness in the United States, I realize too that the whole country isn't one big union hall and anti war rally. Sniping at NAFTA, making boogey men out of lobbyists, and railing against the war draws great praise from "Big Labor" (I'm a union man myself) and liberal bloggers, but it's going to make it a hell of a difficult time to move to the center in the Spring of '08 and build a winning coalition.


Bryan - Obama won a SurveyUSA post-debate poll of South Carolina after the first debate, and the MSNBC online poll by a strong margin, but the pundits pretended Hillary won. Obama won the next MSNBC online poll for the second debate, but that was ignored by the pundits as well, and the online polls ceased. Focus groups showed Obama winning big in most early primary states after the last debate, and yet most pundits went merrily forward with their predetermined analysis that Clinton won.

It's a simple television formula really: get a Republican and Democratic analyst talking about the primary who both favor Clinton, leaving the impartial moderator to conclude that everyone must agree with both of them; that leaves all three people currently on the TV in unanimous agreement that she is right, and her foes are way too out there to be elected. This approach was used for several consecutive months to sink Dean's campaign in favor of Kerry, and to sink Lamont's general election campaign when Lieberman would not accept defeat with dignity.

The same thing is happening to Obama and Edwards, repeating the pattern of embracing uncharismatic Democratic figures who are more interested in haggling over a relatively few swing voters than drawing out millions of disaffected independents who want real change. For the sake of the country, Bryan, let's not fall for the same trick again; it's insulting to our intelligence.


"There you have it. The dumber you are, the more likely you are to view Hillary more favorably than Obama."
(Posted by: Andrew | August 10, 2007 9:01 PM)

Never confuse education with intelligence.


CalD - I could not agree more with that sentiment, as someone who may registers as "some college", but started privately teaching post-graduate level music theory as a teenager; however, I think Andrew's statement was a tongue-in-cheek barb not to be taken literally, and I have to admit that I laughed out loud when I saw it.

I suppose it's because there is some truth in it, after all, in the sense that although you often do see the most brilliant people falter against the constraints of what they perceive as a plodding and pedantic education system, it is generally speaking MORE likely that someone who has gone to college is smarter than someone who has not finished high school. The only danger is when we forget that people are individuals, and that all generalizations regarding humans are rife with exceptions.


Heh, I accidentally made a typo and pluralized the word register unnecessarily in a post about intelligence; serves me right.



Actually my comment was a barbed retort at Andrew. But that's also something I very much do to believe. I've spent most of my life around highly educated people -- a few of whom have obviously been educated well beyond their intelligence -- but the smartest person I believe I've ever met was my grandpa, a farmer who never graduated high school.


Till Eulenspiegel:

"As much as I sympathize with the issues Edwards has chosen to highlight, it is not a winning strategy for the 21st Century."

Y'know, given that this site is centered around polls, you just might want to look at the general election polls that show Edwards (and Obama) crushing every GOP candidate. Or the endless polls (pollingreport.com) that show the vast majority of Americans agree with Edwards' issues.



I wish politicans like Vice-Presidents Hubert Humphrey and Nelson Rockefeller were around today. Most of the politicans now in days are pathetic.


You Independent Male Voter:

I think this poll goes to say a lot. Education has a very high value. Those with more education, typically, but not always, seem to see through the machines a little bit more. Hillary has a lot of support from people who want to jump on the first woman president bandwagon and from those individuals who were fond of her husband.

I don't think she is good for the country at all because she appears to be more motivated by her own legacy than the good of the citizens. She has radically started attacking every single comment Obama makes because she knows that in the perfect scenario where all the independents are sick of the bickering and therefore refuse to make the party change necessary to vote in the Democratic Primary, she wins.

I'd love to see Obama in office for a fresh start in Washington. I'm not naive. Obama is as politically minded and shrewd as any other candidate, but he is the best choice for moving out of the direction of traditional Washington when compared with Edwards, Clinton, and McCain.

I, and many other independents I have spoken with, know exactly where my vote lies. If Obama wins the nomination, I vote Dem. If Edwards wins, I am very likely to vote Dem. If Hillary wins, it is GOP all the way for this voter.

I wish she would put the good of the party in front of her own aspirations and bow out of the race before she loses the general election and, as a result, bogs us down in Iraq again.

Only a Dem pres + a Dem Congress can get us out. Frankly, if the Dems don't win the White House, 2010 will be a GOP congress year as a result of the Dems not getting any of the things there were elected to do accomplished.

Do the right thing for the country! Nix Hillary's campaign!

Or at least restrict Dem Primary voting to those with a college degree or better =) (joking of course)



Hillary was booed by leftists so that really isnt a good indication of how well she did. In fact, that may be a positive. For example, I think it helped her that she was booed at least once at YearlyKos. It makes her look more moderate.

Obama's debate performances have gotten better every time, but he had that disaster in the next to last debate where he said he'd meet with Castro and Chavez. That set up Hillary to call him naive and he hasnt recovered yet.

On the other hand, Hillary has had at least decent debate performances and hasnt made any major mistakes.



I'd say a full-throated and incoherent defense of lobbyists is a mistake, but maybe that's just me.

You guys also seem to forget that before she can run for President, she has to run for the Dem nomination, and appearing "moderate" isn't necessarily the winning ticket.

Indeed, her main advantage right now is that there are 3 campaigns, and two staked out in the same turf: Obama and Edwards are both progressive "outsiders", while she's a moderate insider. They're effectively splitting the same voters, though Obama is able to build a coalition with minorities and higher-education types that Edwards has not, giving him an advantage.

But if either were to drop out of the race, it would be, I think, a major boon to the other. Hillary would either be pulled leftward or could easily lose.


Jonesy - Your comment about leftists is bizarre. First of all, we are talking about a Democratic primary, and your characterization just as absurd as using "rightist" as a derogatory term when talking about what candidate qualities would appeal to Republican primary voters.

Furthermore, it appears you have embraced the false notion that dailykos crowd doesn't affect Democratic primaries (see 2006, the only incumbent primary defeat of a former VP candidate in American history), but are really you going to tell me 15,000 AFL-CIO voters aren't representative of Democratic primary voters either? That's really a stretch...



Indy Male

"I, and many other independents I have spoken with, know exactly where my vote lies. If Obama wins the nomination, I vote Dem. If Edwards wins, I am very likely to vote Dem. If Hillary wins, it is GOP all the way for this voter."

So you're center left when it comes to Edwards and Obama, but if Hillary is on the ticket, you're going all the way with Huckabee, or Thompson and company? And on top of that, you want to bring the troops home?


You Independent Male Voter:

"So you're center left when it comes to Edwards and Obama, but if Hillary is on the ticket, you're going all the way with Huckabee, or Thompson and company? And on top of that, you want to bring the troops home?"

The closest term to my political alliances would be "Libertarian". I'm actually center right, but the fact of the matter is that the Republican Party of this present administration has really left its main identity - fiscal responsibility.

That one aspect is the top tier for me. Our government is too large and it needs to be smaller. The reason why I am center is that I don't share the right's blatant discrimination against gays and other "out of the norm" groups.

I would support Edwards or Obama because they are far closer to the center than other Democrats and it is possible (but no where near guaranteed) that they would operate with a reasonable amount of fiscal responsibility.

If they both fail to win the nomination, Hillary is far too left for me. Some of those Republicans in the new crop running for the nomination show the promise of getting back to the fiscal responsibility and smaller government that identifies the party.

As far as bringing our troops home goes, I'd love to see them come home, but we have to face the facts. We can't just do a mass exodus. There has to be a phased withdrawal that will take time - unfortunately that could be as long as 18-24 months. I don't like the time frame, but I don't want a massacre in Iraq either, even though this one is caused by GWB, Cheney and Rove.

Just like when we voted in a Dem Congress, no radical changes are going to immediately happen when we vote in a Dem president. All changes will take time. In that case, Hillary becomes a worse choice than Giuliani or Huckabee at that point.


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