Thursday, November 17, 2005

Interesting Poll Data

CQ's Hotline and Diageo research group have released an important new poll, which contains some rather interesting findings. Sixty-six percent of those polled now say the country is on the "wrong track" - even more striking, 41% of Republicans agree, up from 29% just a month ago. Republicans saying they would vote to replace their own congressional rep next year rose from 10% to 26% over the last month.

When presidential politics was brought into the poll, 57% of all voters said they'd be either very or somewhat likely to support Senator John McCain in 2008: in a head-to-head matchup with Senator Hillary Clinton McCain wins 52-39%; if he ran as an independent, the poll suggests, he would have more popular support (40%) than Clinton (34%) or Jeb Bush (18%); or the same level of support (35%) as Clinton if Rice were the GOP nominee (she'd get 22% support). These numbers, of course, do not factor in the electoral college.

The favorability ratings are very interesting. For McCain, 55% rated him either strongly or somewhat favorably, while 18% said rated him strongly or somewhat unfavorably. For Clinton, those numbers were 49% and 42%.

Check out the full poll - it's really quite a fascinating sample.


At 10:28 PM, Blogger "A Brown" said...

I am not surprised that McCain did so well, but I am fairly sure that those are soft numbers. Much of McCain’s appeal is that he looks like he is “above politics” (though, of course, this is not true, he is just a gifted enough politician to look that way). If he ever really did run for President, that would change. If he ran as a Republican, and there is no reason to think he would not, he would have to swing to the right to appease conservative primary voters. This would hurt would hurt his image as being above the partisan fray. Also, by virtue of running for President, voters will no longer be able to think of McCain as some special outsider but as an actual politician. This is why his numbers are better by running as an independent. Moreover, Clinton is just the wrong kind of Democrat for McCain to run against. McCain has a huge advantage over most potential opponents because his name recognition is high enough to skip the first round of ads (which introduce a candidate) and he can go directly to part two (which is attack ads against an opponent). Clinton is the only Democrat who has name recognition high enough that she too does not need to introduce herself to voters. At this point, just about everyone already has made up their mind about the Senator from New York. Furthermore, by being such a polarizing figure Clinton negates McCain’s natural electoral strategy. McCain’s political iconoclasm would turn off some of the Republican base but he could make up for that by winning a very high percentage of marginal partisans. With Clinton in the race, that strategy would not be possible because there would be so few swing voters. Against Clinton, Republicans would do best by running a candidate who would give bread and butter issues to the base and deliver a strong get out the vote (GOTV) strategy.

At 11:25 PM, Blogger pacatrue said...

i just have to ask again, as a Democrat, why are we voting for Clinton other than that she has the last name Clinton?


What a mighty democracy we have.

At 11:27 PM, Blogger JBD said...

A - Good comments all.
Paca - With any luck at all, we're not :-)

At 11:57 PM, Blogger "A Brown" said...

Paca- as a general rule, as Democrats we would voter for Clinton because she is a Democrat. Conversely, as Republicans, most Republicans would voter for Jeb because he is a Republican. However, campaigns are not for us. Campaigns are for the small percentage of people who cannot make up their mind about candidates (no offence Jeremy- I feel bad for you, you are that forgotten group who was left by their party and who doesn’t live in a swing state). I do not fully understand why but for some reason, Senator Clinton polarizes the electorate. It is very similar to the last election, when the presence of Bush on the ticket eliminated much of the undecided portion of the electorate.

At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I when you look at what H. Clinton has done, there is no real reason to HATE her...dislike, maybe. I think that a lot of it revolves around the fact that she is a strong, intelligent, democratic woman. I think that just hits some people the wrong way and they have a knee jerk negative reaction. When I ask people why they dont like her, they dont really know why, it's just something about her.
Steve Abott

At 1:54 PM, Blogger pacatrue said...

I should clarify that I do not dislike Hillary Clinton. I am just not sure what she has done that qualifies her over the other 250 million Americans to be President. She's a senator, so that is something. I don't know if she is particularly distinguished, but maybe there are some achievements I do not know yet. However, there are certainly many other equally or more highly distinguished Senators, even female Democratic senators, who should warrant a look if this was based on record. But of course politics is not based on record. In this case, it is based on a fine political career, a whole ton of name recognition, and a solid minority base. It just reminds me of Napolean III, where he was selected pretty much because he had the name Napolean. That was much of W's appeal in 2000, of course. What is interesting about this is that Bush and Clinton (the firsts) were both fine Presidents, but not particularly amazing ones. It's not as if we are electing the son of an Adams or the cousin of a Roosevelt. In those cases, the latter Presidents were following legends, if not great presidents in Adam's case. Here, we just know who they are and apparently that's enough. "A brown" mentioned voting along party lines as the reason, and I confess that he is right, but for me it didn't used to be that way. I have always basically voted Democratic, usually for social justice reasons, but I would periodically vote Republican if the Democrat was obviously silly or the Republican particularly worthy. If I could vote for McCain, the man, by himself, I would at least seriously contemplate it. But with the current Congress and Administration, I have become so distrustful of the Republican Party leadership that I would have a very hard time crossing the party line now.


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