Friday, May 27, 2005

Hillary's Got A Shot

I used to think it was a shame that the party poobahs got to set the primary schedule. But now that the media has officially deemed themselves worthy of pushing up the primaries by a full three-and-a-half-years, the party leaders don't bother me so much. I mean, was it really too much to ask for the media to not have started polling on the 2008 primaries while the 2004 general election campaign was going on? I don't think so. But I know the readers of this site are as obsessed with the 2008 battle as the media, so I'll suck up my dismay and just go with the flow.

USA Today/CNN/Gallup has an interesting poll out on Hillary Clinton's chances in 2008...

For the first time, a majority of Americans say they are likely to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday.

The survey shows that the New York senator and former first lady has broadened her support nationwide over the past two years, though she still provokes powerful feelings from those who oppose her.

Clinton commands as much strong support — but more strong opposition — as George W. Bush did in a Newsweek poll in November 1998, two years before the 2000 election. She is in slightly stronger position than then-vice president Al Gore, the eventual 2000 Democratic nominee, was in 1998.

"Over time, Clinton fatigue has dissipated ... and people are looking back on the Clinton years more favorably," says Andrew Kohut, director of the non-partisan Pew Research Center. In a Pew poll released this month, Kohut called former president Bill Clinton and the senator "comeback kids" because of their rising ratings.
Mind you, this means nothing. Hillary's probably running, but hasn't announced anything yet. And as noted in the article, in November of 1998, Bush was beating Gore, and we all know how that really turned out.

But here are the numbers as they stand right now...

Clinton has been leading the field of Democratic presidential contenders for the 2008 election, still more than three years away. She is running for a second Senate term next year and has dodged questions about whether she'll make a White House bid.

In the poll, 29% were "very likely" to vote for Clinton for president if she runs in 2008; 24% were "somewhat likely." Seven percent were "not very likely" and 39% were "not at all likely" to vote for her.

Her strong support has risen by 8 percentage points, and her strong opposition has dropped by 5 points since the same question was asked in June 2003.
Not bad. But then again, not great. The largest single bloc are the "not at all likely" voters, and that's bad news, because that means Clinton hate is still alive and well and will fight her candidacy like hell. Need I remind anyone what the Swifties did to Kerry? Expect far worse with Hillary.

We'll see where this goes...

UPDATE: The ever-vigilant Lynne has reminded me that the smear campaign against Hillary is already well underway. A group of bloviating idiots from New York has a website up called "Stop Her Now" (no, I won't give them the benefit of a link) that is dedicated to "expose her as a confirmed left-wing radical and life-long liberal who long ago sold her soul to the divisive, radical and ultra-liberal special interest groups who see everyone as 'victims' and want to use your tax dollars and the power of the state to make things right." No really. Stop laughing. That's what they claim their goal is.

My word, it's funny to hear conservatives talk about victimization in this day and age when the GOP leadership whines about being constantly under attack from vicious God-hating liberals. They've taken the special interest group victimization politics the Democrats abandoned decades ago to new heights with their 'pity us rich whites' schtick. So lame...

posted by Scott | 5/27/2005 | |

Monday, May 23, 2005

Deal Reached On Filibusters

Quite a few progressive bloggers are unhappy about this one. I think that's sort of misguided and unrealistic. At the end of the day, this wasn't about a few right-wing judges. This was about the future of the Senate. For all of the possible outcomes, this one -- accepting Owen, Brown, and Pryor only, while saving the filibuster -- is the least bad.

But I am happy to report that it seems that the conservative bloggers are even more pissed than the progressives. Kos's roundup of their outrage is well worth checking out.

posted by Scott | 5/23/2005 | |

GOP In Decline

Overreach, overreach, overreach.

It's been my mantra since November 2. The ruling GOP, with both houses of Congress and the White House in their pockets, was bound to go to far. Little did I know how far they'd go and how fast. Whether it was Schiavo, Social Security privatization, or absurdist defenses of everything from torture to the galactic Empire of 'Star Wars', the leadership of America's dominant party has shown itself to be... well... cuckoo.

On this, very likely the eve of Nuclear Tuesday, I'm oh-so-happy to report that their hubris is beginning to cost them. Dig these numbers from the latest USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll...

By 47%-36%, those polled say the country would be better off if Democrats controlled Congress. That's the best showing for Democrats since Republicans won control in 1994.
Bush's overall job approval rating was 46%, down 4 percentage points since early May but higher than the 45% low he held in March. On specific issues, 40% approved of the job Bush is doing on handling Iraq and the economy; 33% approved of him on Social Security.

By a record 57%-40%, respondents say they disagree with Bush on the issues that matter most to them. The proportion who say Bush has "the personality and leadership qualities a president should have" sank to 52%, his lowest ever.
I'm very wary of anyone who says the Democrats can win back Congress in 2006. Now, I do think we will regain control eventually, but not next year. However, if these numbers are any indication, then maybe it's going to happen sooner than I think. And if Frist moves to kill the filibuster, rendering the Senate basically useless, these numbers should spike in favor of the Democrats. No one likes a bully, and that's increasingly what the GOP is acting like.

posted by Scott | 5/23/2005 | |
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