Bad news for Republicans: “By 52% to 31%, Americans say they want Democrats to win the presidency next year.”
Americans give the Republican Party their most negative assessment in the two-decade history of the Journal/NBC survey, and by 49% to 36% they say the Democratic Party more closely shares their values and positions on the issues.
The Democratic candidates do better than their Republican counterparts as well:
Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who has strengthened her lead in the race for the Democratic nomination, leads Mr. Giuliani by 48% to 43% in a potential general-election matchup after trailing by a similar margin three months ago. Despite Mr. Thompson’s rise among Republican contenders, he trails the second-place Democratic candidate, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, by 50% to 31% in a hypothetical November 2008 contest.
Lets take a closer look at the results per party:
– among Republicans, Rudy Giuliani continues to lead the pack, this time with 29%. Fred Thompson is in second place with 20%. Romney and McCain both draw the support of 14% of those polled (Romney continues to rise in the polls).
– among Democrats, Hillary Clinton’s lead has grown: she now leads Barack Obama by 39% to 25%. In third place we find John Edwards (with 15%).
Why do Democratic voters support Clinton?
Fully 71% of Democrats rate the former first lady highly for being “knowledgeable and experienced enough to handle the presidency,” while 30% rate the first-term Sen. Obama highly on that dimension.
“Her competence campaign is working,” Mr. Newhouse said.
Hillary is doing a good job, or so it seems. Her goal is not to make to 70% of the American people like her (that is not going to happen anyway), her goal is to convince a majority of the American voters that – whether they personally like her and agree with her on everything or not – she is the most competent (Democratic) candidate.
If it is between her, Obama and Edwards, I agree with her: she is the most experienced one. She knows what politics are like at the presidential level. She knows how to make decisions that can (and do) change the world.
In the Republican camp it is safe to say that Thompson hurts McCain most. Romney will continue to rise in the polls, of that I am quite sure, Thompson – once he entered – will rise as well, Giuliani will lose some support, and suddenly we’ve got a three men race.
Ah, horse races, I know that they can be useless, but they are fun.
H/t Joe Gandelman.