Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The temperature of 2008 candidates

The thermometer poll from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute came out today. It has some interesting looks at how people feel about 2008 candidates. The score is out of 100 for warmth toward a candidate. The number in parentheses is the percentage not knowing enough about the individual to rate him or her:

Some notables are:

1) Rudolph Giuliani - 64.2. (9)

2) Sen. Barack Obama 58.8 (41)

3) Sen. John McCain 57.7 (12)

8) John Edwards - 49.9 (20)

9) Sen. Hillary Clinton - 49 (1)

10) N.M. Gov. Bill Richardson - 47.7 (65)

13) Gov. Mitt Romney - 45.9 (64)

14) Former VP Al Gore - 44.9 (3)

15) President George Bush - 43.8 (1)

16) Sen. Evan Bayh - 43.3 (75)

17) Newt Gingrich - 42 (15)

20) Sen. John Kerry - 39.6 (5)

First, notice that Bill Richardson scores 47.7 with 65% of the respondents not knowing enough about him to rate him. Plenty of upside. Only need to convince several percentage points of the 65% that you are likeable and BAM! Richardson is the President.

Of course, 5 other major players stand in his way. Hillary is sunk (more on that below). Obama is riding a strong, positive media image lately. He could be incredible, but he's never been tested. Giuliani, Romney and McCain both seem incredibly viable general election candidates, but none of them have social positions to get them through the Republican primary. I suspect someone else will rise up to be the Republican nominee.

Other things to note are that Gore, President Bush, Bayh, Gingrich and Kerry are finished as politicians. Bayh has a fighting chance if he gets the right policy in the primaries, but it is going to be a crowded field.

In addition to this, I heard some additional inside baseball stuff today. The whispers up on Capitol Hill say that Dick Durbin (D-IL) is pressuring Barack Obama to enter the 2008 race. This is important because Durbin is Assistant Majority Leader and wields a lot of power setting up the legislative agenda. He could easily favor Obama's pet policies while putting roadblocks in Clinton's way.

The more I talk with insiders, there is a sense of "anyone, but Hillary" really setting in. The key word is electability. Refer again to the poll. A majority don't like her and only 1% of the country don't know enough to vote. Let me remind Democratic voters again...49% is not enough to win the White House.

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