A None of the Above Election in 2008?

Will it be a a none of the above election in 2008? Actually, it might seem that way-especially if the Dems nominate Hillary.  I know I know national polls don’t mean much at this stage of the game insofar as the nomination process goes (remember Democratic front runner Howard Dean in fall 2003?).  Still let’s assume for the moment that Hillary is the nominee.  Let’s also assume that Bush’s approval rating and the approval rating of the Republicans in Congress stay in the 30s.  One even safer assumption is that most voters will not vote for someone that they feel unfavorably towards, but probably will vote for someone they feel favorably towards. 

Gallup recently did a survey that broke down Hillary Clinton’s favorables by race, class, gender, location, etc.   

Here is a list of Hillary’s favorable rating broken down by class.  The percent of the vote won by John Kerry in 2004 is in brackets for each income group:

0-30K: 57.5%* (59%) 

30-50K: 48% (51%)

50-75K: 44% (43%)

75K-up: 42% (42%)

Total: 48% (48.3%)

*This is the average favorability for those making 0-19,999 and 20-29,999.

Except for 50-75K (and their by only 1% difference), in not one income group does Hillary’s favorables outdo Kerry’s vote total.  A candidate’s unfavorables are more likely to rise during the course of an election than their favorables.  Among the three income strata that gave Kerry a majority of their vote, in not one do a majority feel favorable towards Hillary.  Back in 2004 the under 50K’s were approx. 57% of households but only 45% of voters.  Today about 54% of households make less than 50K. 

Keep in mind that Americans making less than 50K are less likely to vote than Americans making over 50K.  Were that fact not true we’d all be taking about President Kerry coasting towards renomination or President Gore preparing to leave office with a Nobel Peace Prize after two terms.   

In conclusion, given the current disarray of the GOP it seems Dems should have an easy time winning in 2008.  But any Democratic candidate (Hillary or otherwise) that can’t do better than Kerry’s vote total in any income strata (particularly among Kerry’s poor to working to middle class base)  has little hope of winning a general election.  (The same is also true among independents, where Kerry received 49%-50% of the vote.  Today, only 45% of independents view Hillary favorably). 

In Nevada, voters have the option of voting for “none of the above”.  By no means am I trying to insult the state of Nevada.  Still, issues of legalized gambling, prostitution, and other vices aside, has the whole country become Nevada?     

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About Nick

Teacher of Social Studies. Born in the 1970s. History major, music minor. Big Baseball fan. Economic progressive.
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3 Responses to A None of the Above Election in 2008?

  1. Darrell Prows says:

    If Hillary is perceived to be the ultimate choice, and if she is believed to be so easy to run against, why are so many Republican incumbets bailing out?

  2. Pingback: A None of the Above Election in 2008? | Political news - democrats republicans socialists greens liberals conservatives

  3. Nick says:


    Not quite sure what you mean about so many Republicans bailing out. If you are talking about the GOP presidential candidates all I can say is only three (of 11)have bailed out and that was because they had trouble raising money and realized they had no shot at winning.

    If you mean GOPers in the House and Senate all I can say is that the Congress is a different animal than the president. Indeed in 3 of the last 12 elections (1960, 1988, and 1992) the party that won the presidential popular vote lost seats in one or both houses of Congress. Age, length of time in office and in some cases (particularly in the Northeast and metro Midwest) localc realignment towards the Democrats are driving Republicans to retire-just like growing GOP realignment in the South led to a rash of Southern Democratic reitrements from the 1980s to today.