Yes it’s still very early. Yes people can still change their minds. Still, if there’s one person in this country that people have fixed opinions about (much more fixed than say, Al Gore or John Kerry) it’s Hillary. Now the Harris Poll reports some very interesting findings from a mid-March 2007 interactive poll. It turns out that half of all adults–including 24% of Democrats– would not vote for Hillary if she were the Democratic nominee, only 36% say they would, with 11% unsure. Sure there is a gender divide, but not to the degree one would think.
“While one would expect that women would be more likely than men to lean towards Senator Clinton, this is not the case as 38 percent of women and 34 percent of men both say they would vote for her. Even among women there is a divide as four in 10 (41%) single women say they would vote for Senator Clinton, compared to 36 percent of married women. Over half of both men (56%) and married women (52%) say they would not vote for her for president.”
Campaigning with Bill in tow (remember the two for one deal back in 1992?) would probably not be a good idea either.
“There is also an issue with things that happened during the Bill Clinton presidency. A plurality (45%) agrees that it is difficult to trust her because of Whitewater and other scandals in the Clinton White House, while 42 percent disagree. Similar numbers (44%) agree that her handling of health care in the White House raises questions about her ability and 34 percent disagree.” Additionally, only 37% of Americans agree with the statement It would be good to have both her and Bill Clinton in the White House again while a whopping 50% disagree with that statement.
Not all the news is bad for Senator Clinton as “Three-quarters of adults (76%) agree that she is a very intelligent person and this is the sentiment across the board. Even 65 percent of Republicans agree.” The notion that Hillary is too liberal to win may not pass the smell test either. “When asked about her political philosophy, one-third (31%) say Hillary Clinton is too liberal and 41 percent say she is neither too liberal nor too conservative. Just four percent say she is too conservative, but among liberals that number rises to 11 percent.”
Still, the fact that as of now anyway, she would not get the level of support of Democrats or independents that Kerry recieved is troubling to say the least. Hillary’s support broken down by generations is not inspiring to look at either. Harris breaks down the poll as follows: Echo boomers (age 18-30) Generation X (age 31-42) Baby boomers (age 43-61) and Matures (age 62 and up). Only one age group (Generation X) do the number saying they would vote for her outnumber those who say they would not vote for her-and among Gen. Xers it’s a split of 44%-40%. Furthermore, the age group that turns out at the highest rates (Matures) are also the most anti-Hillary group: By a 69%-23% margin Matures say they will not vote for her.
To reiterate, yes it’s still quite early, but given how well known Hillary is (or at least how well people think they know her) and given the overall negatives of these numbers, Democratic primary voters should think twice about Hillary.