Hillary’s Prospects

The new web journal, The Democratic Strategist, has an interesting, data-generated take on Hillary Clinton’s electibility, the subject of an editorial written this week in the Washington Post by her pollster, Mark Penn, and James Carville.

Their take is basically that her fate lies with the independents, and that she is electable, if not a clear cut favorite in a general election.

“what really matters for the electability question is how independents view her. According to a recent ABC/Washington Post poll, 48 percent of indies have a favorable opinion of her, while 46 percent view her unfavorably. (The rest are unsure.) This is remarkably close to John Kerry’s 49-48 margin among independents in the 2004 election. So an initial conclusion is that with Clinton heading the Democratic ticket, we will be dealing with another nail-biter in 2008. (Of course, much depends on the Republican ticket.)

On the other hand, Clinton’s favorability among Republicans – 26 percent – is significantly larger than Kerry’s performance among Republicans (a whopping 6 percent). Presumably she would end up getting substantially less than a quarter of the Republican vote in 2008, but it may be that she can attract enough Republican women to improve on Kerry’s performance.”

- Jason Horowitz