Friday, June 15, 2007

Hillary Rising - For Now

Hillary has widened her lead over Obama 39%-25% in the latest NBC/WSJ poll compared to 36%-31% in April. Or a more modest rise to 39%-19% according to American Research Group as compared to 39%-22% last month.

As significantly, she's also beating Republican hopefuls in polls, leading Giuliani 48%-43% after trailing him 42%-47% a couple of months ago.

A lot can of course change between now and 2008. Hillary may go back down, or on the other hand be able to further soften the hostility of the anti-Hillary crowd and win more support.

She's managed to stay pretty much on a centrist message except for her May 25 senate vote against Iraq War funding (like Obama) to appease the left, where it may have been political suicide to vote otherwise. That was a symbolic vote anyway since funding was approved 80-14.

I was intrigued when Paul Krugman mentioned in the middle of his column in the NY Times that she had received large contributions from the drug and the health insurance industry. Is she going to sell out on the vital issues of (a) government negotiating drug prices, and (b) universal coverage? But all indications presently are that she's firmly committed to both.

Let's see how it all plays out. Anyone care to predict how things will stand in say, Sept-Oct '07 so we can compare notes at that time? It's risky business, but I'll venture she'll widen her lead very slightly among Democrats for the primaries race and tip over 50% in the general elections polls keeping the same 6% margin as more of the "unsure" people make up their minds.


kenrod said...

Sandip, the analysis of Hillary beating Guiliani is a little misleading. I think the public wants the Dems to beat the GOP in the White House race, but a direct Hillary vs. Guiliani still favors the GOP.

The Dems have a problem. They know Hillary is sharp and experienced but hated. Obama is a schoolboy crush but you wouldn't necessarily marry him. Edwards is a weak third.

None of these candidates are really viable though I think Hillary is the strongest. That leaves room for a 4th which is Gov. Richardson from New Mexico. Dems have a history of letting dark horses appear from nowhere. Look at Jimmy Carter in 1976. The GOP are a more organized bunch. The front runner a year before the election has come to represent the party.

The GOP has problems also. McCain is flailing, scorched by his support on Iraq surge. Mitt Romney is Mormon and an on-again, off-again conservative. Guiliani has a pro-abortion, gun control tint, but for a New Yorker, it is essential. Fred Thompson is emerging from the background and could replace Mitt Romney on the right wing.

But I think GOP will hold their noses and vote for Guiliani. Likewise, the Dems will spray cologne on Hillary and elect her.

Most GOP would love to run against Hillary. But I'm with Mary Matlin, a GOP analyst, who thinks Hillary could be a thorn in their flesh. Likewise, most Dems think they would love to run against Thompson but he could be tougher than the others.

Sandip Madan said...

At this point Hillary looks to be doing okay without the cologne. If things keep going on the present trajectory the Republicans can rejoice because their dream of running against Hillary will come true. :-)

kenrod said...

An associate of Guiliani(R-NY) was arrested for possession of cocaine. When Rudy was told of it he exclaimed, "Cocaine? I told him to get Rogaine."

In another news story 15% of Americans say they dislike Hillary Clinton(D-Punjab). The other 85% haven't met her.

Sandip Madan said...

Kenrod, Rudy was also warned that his police chief Kerik was close to, and deeply into Mafia. Rudy says he heard "Sophia." :-)

So long as Hillary doesn't meet more than 15% of Americans so that the rest vote for her, that's okay. :-)

Anonymous said...

The question is what will Bloomberg do to the race? His very entrance signifies that both the GOP and Dems are weak. People have dismissed third party candidates but this one is different because of the money.

Of course, no one really knows what he stands for except he has a billion bucks. To me he is a liberal on social issues like gun control, global warming etc. But a fiscal conservative. So he will win NY and CA but the "Bible belt" will be tough. Will he siphon off more from the Dems or GOP?

Sandip Madan said...

I wouldn't give Bloomberg much of a chance. Hard to say whether Dems or Repubs benefit from his entry. Initial pools say Repubs suffer slightly but I'm skeptical because they're a more hardcore bunch, and less likely to stray from their party...

What's really bad for the Dems is if Gore decides to play spoiler as a third party candidate. Then they're cooked and Repubs win. Very unlikely he'll do that, though.

kenrod said...

I wouldn't dismiss Bloomberg too early. Let's analyze. You have 4 basic groups of voters:

1. Social liberal, fiscal liberal(Obama, Edwards, Hillary)

2. Social liberal, fiscal conservative(Guiliani, Bloomberg, Thompson, and myself Kenrod)

3. Social conservative, fiscal liberal(Gov. Richardson sometimes, McCain)

4. Social conservative, fiscal conservative(Brownback, Huckebee)

When people are polled, they favor Dems over GOP for the W.H. but with frontrunners of each party, it's about even. That's probably the Bush-Iraq factor. That means McCain is out unless he reinvents himself.

25% of GOP are angry about the religious right and excess CEO pay. 25% of the Dems are angry about gay marriage and bad girls of Hollywood. So you have a large fiscal right and social left that want to move to the center.

Enter Bloomberg who currently has no baggage except he's divorced. Nobody loves him yet, but no one hates him. And he has 5 to 10 times the money of any other candidate.

I think he will wait for Tsunami Tuesday in February 08. If polling for both party candidates are less than 35% he will enter and win.

Sandip Madan said...

Good analysis, but there are plenty of ifs and qualifiers. So let's see. As of now I'd give him 1 in 50 odds of getting elected President, and 1 in 5 of upsetting the apple cart for the Democratic candidate. I think he'll pull less votes from a centrist like Hillary than from Obama or Edwards.

That said, I think well of Bloomberg so I personally wouldn't be upset to see him become President...

kenrod said...

Yes Sandip, everyone thinks they're the centrists. The guy driving down the freeway at 100 thinks the fellow doing 20 is a moron. And the guy going at 20 thinks the other is a maniac.

I don't know why everyone is afraid of being called "liberal". I think it's a gallant concept. Personally, I'm not that liberal but I find nothing wrong with them as long as they are honest about it. What I can't stand are people who pretend to run liberal shelters while profiteering from them. I think liberals are good at implementing change, and the Democratic team of Hillary, Obama and Edwards wouldn't be ashamed of calling themselves a little left.

Sandip Madan said...

Republicans are certainly desperate to paint Hillary as a Liberal (meaning very left) despite evidence to the contrary. :-)

If a median American (i.e., on the 50th percentile on a range of issues) is considered a liberal, well, then you can call her a liberal. The other two are to her left (Edwards more so of late) but not that far left.

And yes, everyone including Bill O'Reilly call themselves centrists... In the same vein Fox News calls itself Fair and Balanced.

kenrod said...

What I mean is that liberals have stopped calling themselves liberals. It reminds me of the Germans after WW II where they had an identity crisis. Today Germans are proud of their nation but it took years of psychoanalysis. I think it was after Nixon painted them as budget busters that they shunned the word.

But liberalism represents a lot more than budget excesses and gay rights. In fact, the GOP, running massive deficits, is mimicking the very ways they vowed to avoid years ago. Liberalism represents charity, innovation, acceptance....
Conservatism represents law and order, work ethic, discipline. No one is exclusively one or the other though the media seems to paint them so.

Of course, there are leanings which explains the kinds of scandals of each party. Dems usually have sex and alcohol scandals (Bill Clinton, JFK). GOP usually have money and power scandals (Nixon's Watergate, Iran contra).

But it's been a while since I've seen someone stand up and proudly state, "I'm a liberal."

Sandip Madan said...

As you say, it's all about connotation. Repubs / Rove / Limbaugh etc. have managed to associate "liberal" with ultra-leftist so those who are not in this category (including the candidates) don't want to be called this.

It's just like those who are cheerful and happy no longer want to be called "gay" unless they subscribe to a particular lifestyle choice. :-)