Hillary’s reign at the top of the polls for the Democratic primary has always worried party activists, knowledgeable of her negatives in a general election. The sense of her inevitability has been tempered with the recognition of the high hurdles between winning a nomination and winning a general election with a large number of voters hostile to her candidacy. Now NBC reports that a new poll puts that number at a majority:
According to a new Mason-Dixon survey, given exclusively to NBC/MSNBC and McClatchy newspapers, Clinton is the only major presidential candidate — either Democrat and Republican — for whom a majority of likely general election voters say they would not consider voting. In addition, she’s the only candidate who registers with a net-unfavorable rating.
In the poll, 48% say they would consider voting for Clinton versus 52% who say they wouldn’t. By comparison, majorities signal they would consider voting for all other major presidential candidates or possible candidates: Giuliani (64%-36%), Fred Thompson (62%-38%), Bloomberg (61%-39%), Obama (60%-40%), Edwards (59%-41%), McCain (58%-42%), Biden (57%-43%), Richardson (57%-43%), Huckabee (56%-44%), and Romney (54%-46%).
Moreover, 39% say they recognize Clinton favorably, while 42% say they recognize her unfavorably. By contrast, every other candidate has a net-positive favorable rating: Giuliani (43%-17%), Obama (36%-21%), McCain (33%-28%), Edwards (32%-28%), Thompson (25%-12%), Romney (24%-20%), Biden (21%-20), Bloomberg (20%-18%), Richardson (19%-15%), and Huckabee (16%-12%).
Will the Democrats nominate someone demonstrably unelectable in this primary? Or will these numbers have the party desperate for a white-knight, eleventh-hour bid from an established national figure — like Al Gore? Has anyone ever gotten elected to significant office with numbers such as these?