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Monday, November 26, 2007

Hillary Says: I Would Totally Beat Ron Paul, Though

Interesting development tied either to more weakness in the Clinton camp than many expected (I still say that she motivates GOP voters to show up like no one else in the field) or, perhaps, the left’s error in committing to an early campaign run tied to heavily to a bet on continued dramatic failure in Iraq. For that matter, it could just be a blip on the screen and not the beginning of a trend.

Whatever, these are the numbers that Zogby is giving for Hillary v/ the GOP frontrunners.

Democrat Hillary Clinton would lose to all major Republican White House candidates, according to a hypothetical election matchup poll Monday, reversing her months of dominance over potential 2008 challengers.

The Zogby International poll was the latest sign that withering attacks on the former first lady were chipping away at her opinion poll leads just 38 days before the Iowa caucuses, the first party nominating contests.

In the new survey, Clinton trailed Senator John McCain 42 percent to 38 percent, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani by 43 percent to 40 percent and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney by 43 percent to 40 percent.

She also lagged behind former Arkansas Republican governor Mike Huckabee by 44 to 39 percent, and former Senator Fred Thompson by 44 to 40 percent in hypothetical general election matchups.

Even if these numbers are accurate and do indicate the beginning of a soft patch for Hillary (and possibly for the Democrats--who may be seeing their own dismal approval numbers catching up with the public’s obvious disappointment with President Bush and the GOP), remember this: winning votes is important only in that those votes win the key states. I would be interested in seeing a state-by-state breakdown to get a better feeling for how the election could go.

There are a lot of questions about a poll like this, though. Was the Zogby poll reliable and unbiased in its questioning? Is this is still too early to mean much? Will positive trends continue in Iraq? How shallow will this dip in the economy be? Oil prices probably won’t start declining much while the dollar continues to sink--when will the dollar begin a substantial recovery? Will Afghanistan see any setbacks? Will the Democrats ever actually accomplish anything while they have control of congress? Or will they prove to be just as inept as the GOP in an even shorter span of time? What happens to the candidates when the real mud starts splashing around?

It would be stupid to count Hillary out at this stage. She’s smart, she has a team of experienced handlers and campaigners, she’s positioned herself well to the left of the GOP field but nowhere near the far left of other Democrats, and she’s a very good campaign strategist.

But everyone who is ceding the election to the left is making a grave mistake, too. This thing is still open to all comers.

Except Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. Because America doesn’t have that much of a sense of humor.

Read the story.

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