December 22, 2007

Can't Anyone Play This Here Game?

If any presidential primary ever exemplified None Of The Above, it's the one inflicted on us now. According to Rasmussen, everyone gets a negative favorability rating in this race -- and I mean everyone (via Memeorandum):

Among the leading Presidential candidates, New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney have the highest level of core opposition among voters. Forty-seven percent (47%) say they will vote against each of these candidates no matter who else is on the ballot.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Arizona Senator John McCain. For the second straight month, McCain finds himself with the smallest level of core opposition--just 33% say they will definitely vote against him. That figure is unchanged from a month ago, down from 39% a two months ago and a peak of 42% in June. These results are just one part of the reason that it is a good time to be John McCain.

In between, 42% will definitely vote against Giuliani, 38% against Edwards, 36% against Obama, 34% against Huckabee, 34% against Thompson.

Skip the lede of this story and check the numbers at the link. Even the best showing for the candidates, Barack Obama (-6%) and John McCain (-11%) have bigger negatives than positives among all voters. This doesn't bode well for the 2008 campaign in either the primaries or the general election. Not only has no one really caught fire, but no one has managed to convert more voters than they've driven off.

Pundits have dissected the high negatives for Hillary for the last several months. Romney's comes as more of a surprise. He does better with unaffiliated voters, as only 38% of those will definitely oppose him, but 47% overall looks grim for a person who may be the frontrunner when the Iowa caucuses close. If primary voters look at electability, this may be a millstone around the neck of the Romney campaign.

Hillary has the same ceiling, but a higher floor. She has 30% of all voters definitely supporting her. However, she goes in the opposite direction from Romney with unaffiliated voters. Her numbers actually get worse when going to the center. Her rating among that group approaches the negative numbers Ron Paul receives from this group, -26% to -29% respectively.

John McCain may get the best bump from this poll. People wonder whether he could win a Republican primary, but he has the lowest opposition numbers in both the general population and the unaffiliated population. His -6% in the latter group makes him the most electable among the front-runners of both parties. In a race where no one has captured the passion of the electorate, it could be enough of an edge for McCain to make the electability argument his own.


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» None of the Above from Punditry

Ed Morrissey points to polling data indicating that all of the major Presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle "have bigger negatives than positives among all voters. This doesn't bode well for the 2008 campaign in either the prim...

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