A Bad Time to Be a Republican

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.

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5 Responses to A Bad Time to Be a Republican

  1. Darrell Prows says:

    I’m only going to disagree with your assessment of Guiliani. I’ve looked at him from day one as a meltdown waiting to happen. As a federal prosecutor he was known only for his visciousness. As a Mayor, sans 9-11, he would have been rated no better than average. This is just not the stuff that a president is made of, and I believe that this is one instance when familiarity will breed contempt.

  2. Ginny Cotts says:


    I think his record will be excellent ammo.

    As far as Sen Clinton. She is experienced. The question is, what did she learn from it? Her decision making strikes me as inconsistent. Her perspective/vision has weak support among strong liberals who are tired of sacrificing dearly held values to get a Democrat elected.

    Which is not to say the next president should be uncompromising. S/he needs to be able to avoid the compromises that change the world for the worse.

    The experience argument can be valid. Kerry and Gore supporters use it heavily. The difference is that we can point to their leadership positions that turned out to be right far more than wrong. Both have acknowledged the wrong ones. Richardson is another candidate who has a lot of experience. And whose record does not impress as much as the resume would lead you to expect.

    Returning to the liberal, moderate, centrist, conservative comparison. By definition, one of the problems with this line up is the disregard for the moderation inherent to liberal thought. Quite a long time ago, a study was conducted on the differences of beliefs within religious denominations. The most consistent were… the Unitarians.

    The denomination with a virtual absence of any kind of official doctrine, and the most freedom for members to pursue their own search for truth, had the highest agreement among them. I doubt that creating the 7 Principles of Unitarian-Universalism (after the denominations merged) has significantly affected this. The UUA is one of the most liberal of all denominations and has been on the Christian Right hit list for decades because of it.

    I really want a president who pays attention to Americans. Liberal, moderate, centrist and conservative. Finding and listening to the best ideas, getting together the best minds for creating a vision, setting goals, and developing a workable plan.

    I believe someone with experience and a track record for getting it right would be best for all the problems we face. Without such a candidate, experience and a mediocre track record may not be the best option.

  3. Michaelvdg says:

    Great comment Ginny. I’ll do something at my own blog I do quite regularly: I’ll quote your comment, comment on it myself and let (hopefully) other people share their thoughts on it.

    Have to say: I enjoyed every single one of your comments.

    Darryl: I agree that this is a problem for Giuliani. I do wonder whether it will come back to haunt him to the degree you seem to think. You should not forget that when he was campaigning for mayor of NYC, he presented himself as a calm, steady, reasonable person.

    I always say that Giuliani has a controllable temper.

  4. Michael

    It’s great to have your perspective here – it’s a nice addition to the mix! I just commented on your most recent post on your blog which I found to be an interesting lesson in how your poltical system works in the Netherlands.

    I’m off to sleep… An interesting note to our readers enjoying Michael’s posts… He’s in the Netherlands and I’m in L.A. We figured out he’s starting his day when I am ending mine! One of those cool things about blogging (and the internets) – perspectives from around the globe 24/7.

  5. greenbean says:

    Donald Trump for President! He is a total radical. He speaks his mind openly and the media do not know how to do him because he is also entertaining. For that, he can put people’s feet back to the fire. He knows current events and he is a good speaker just like anybody else in the race. He is not a woman, African-American, Hispanic, Mormon, veteran, actor, he is a refreshing white guy. And fundraising for a staged, fixed, and protected gala is not something he hasn’t done before. One way or the other, for better or for worst, if can’t be the greatest be the worst; can’t be serious be hilarious. What’s the difference? Clinton’s background, legacy, corruption do qualify her to be ‘experienced and competence’. What you have seen is what you will get, what you have known is what it will be. What is scary is seeing stars handcaps people from detecting honesty deficiency and fake presentation in one of the front-runners.

    Confuse people is what I do best, I will never do it to you Pamela. Instead if I may, I would like to share with you a story which has helped me through a lot of tough times. Vietnam Mermorial was built based on an architectural graphic handed in by a college or university graduate way back then. The rich man who opposed the design and the girl who designed it were together on a show. My memory of it was very very vague, but somehow one answer from that girl stuck with me forever since in a very mysterious way.It was something like this “….I am not going to fight it, do whatever you want, I don’t have the money and time to fight this. Tomorrow I am going to look for a job. I don’t even have a job now….. There are more important things for me to worry about…..resume….job interviews….” The rich man smiled, didn’t say anything. And the Mermorial was built obviously, and accordingly to her design. It has become the essence of my simple life. Ordinary people are no lobbyists or politicians, neither do most of us have money nor time to be as invincible and perfect. And if that is a subject to be picked on for gossips then too bad so sad for us. We are no saints, there are more important things in life to worry about and to cheer about. Your daughter just graduated, congratulation. And the congress got 64% disapproval rating which they deserved, so justice has done. However way you slice it ‘spend big spend great endlessly’ episode was a burn. And then there was his speech at Hopkins, JK has not given up or been silenced by those clowns. That is hope.