Hillary Can’t Win

We decided to write a post to discuss the “electability” and “favorability” issues in regards to Hillary. Many readers and friends requested we do so. We understand why the requests came in.

Often, after a favorable Hillary poll is published, loony Big Bloggers, particularly from a certain website, concoct elaborate theories as to why the poll is no good or how the poll is skewed in Hillary’s favor. The theories are usually elaborate. Sometimes mainstream Big Media bloggers/journalists also publish these screwy Big Blogger theories and the discussions go round and round. Big Bloggers, as their theories collapse, assure all that they are merely seeking the truth and questioning the logarithms, samples or whatever of the pollsters. We realized from the outset that their problem was not in the polls, it was in the results. These “Beautiful Mind” bloggers never believed that Hillary was winning. They still cannot believe that Hillary is winning.

After all, in the polls these Big Bloggers conduct on their own websites, Hillary usually garners about a losing 3%. Lately her numbers even on these Big Blogs have improved. Hillary is now polling about 4% to 6% on these sites. These Big Blogger sites by the way, take great pride in calling themselves “reality based”. In reality they are disconnected from reality. They rather forget the impressive leads Hillary has when real people are polled. These delusional Big Bloggers actually believe that they represent the vangard of the proletariat and that eventually the “people” will increasingly adopt Big Blog views. [For more on this, read an earlier post called When Nutroots Attack.]

Of course none of that has happened. Hillary was and is winning. She leads in just about every state and national poll. We expect some new unified grand theory from these Big Bloggers any day now to explain how Hillary really is not winning and that the higher her numbers go the least likely she is to either get the Democratic Party nomination or to win the general election.

Anyway, we decided to address the “electability” and “favorability” issues as they pertain to Hillary. We began to gather facts. We started amassing polling data. We started reviewing the crackpot theories. We surveyed modern polling theory. We started reviewing texts cataloging modern obstacles to reliable polling such as mobile phone owners – who are generally younger – not getting polled, increasingly large refusal to participate rates, and the obstacle which is the answering machine. Then we stopped surrounding ourselves with all this paper.

We realized that polling is a science and an art. The science part collects the numbers. The art is in the interpretation and meaning of the numbers. The poll numbers are not isolated “data”. Poll numbers represent real people. Generally, if a candidate is doing well in a campaign and in the news coverage, that “doing well” will be reflected in the polls. We realized that we did not have to go into the innards of polling science to answer the “electability” and “favorability” issues. We had to look at the real world and how the candidates are doing in the real world.

We wrote two articles about the real world campaigns of the major Democratic candidates. We wrote Let’s Help Richardson, Edwards, Obama, Day about those respective campaigns and A Thing of Beauty about the Hillary campaign. These quick campaign overviews provide all the clues needed to understand why Hillary is doing so well in the polls. The answer is that Hillary is doing well in the polls because the Hillary campaign is doing a very good job and Hillary is an excellent candidate. End of story.

Poll after poll also cite to the fact that Hillary’s support is very solid. People who like her, really like her and there are many of us. Hillary supporters are not fair weather friends. We are for Hillary through thick and thin. Our first choice is Hillary. Our second choice is Hillary, our third choice is Hillary. And poll after poll also cite to the fact that among Gore, Obama and Edwards supporters their second choice is Hillary.

“But,” these Big Blogger anti-Hillary theorists tell us, “Hillary has such high negatives she can’t win.”

Let’s ignore the fact that the same things were said when Hillary ran for U.S. Senate in New York – before she won big, both times. Let’s look at a poll that came out earlier this week. This poll assures us that none of the candidates can win. Let’s all give up and go home and surrender the country to Ripublicans.

A survey of 1,010 adults conducted by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University [from May 6 through May 27] finds many Americans voice concerns about candidates who have used cocaine, been married three times, have uncommon religious beliefs, have little government experience or are just plain too old.

“The survey finds almost every major candidate has a significant fault or political deficit they must overcome. “This is a very different field of candidates, a more wounded field than usual. That’s going to make for a very interesting race,” concluded Morgan Felchner, editor of Campaigns and Elections magazine.”

[For our view on the possiblity of a woman or an African-American getting elected see Does Obama’s Skin Color Matter In The Presidential Election?]

The survey on Drug use:

“Adults in the survey were equally troubled over prospects of a President who tried cocaine in his youth, something Sen. Barack Obama has admitted. Only 34 percent said they think most Americans would accept this while 58 percent said it would not be acceptable.”

The survey on Lack of Experience:

“The highest negative trait of all goes to candidates who have little government experience, a charge frequently leveled against Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. Fifty-nine percent said they believe most people would find lack of experience to be unacceptable.

Will Big Bloggers call on Edwards to give up because 59% of Americans have a viability question about the inexperienced? Will Big Bloggers call on Obama to give up for the same inexperience concern? For that matter will Big Bloggers call on Obama to give up because he illegally purchased then illegally snorted cocaine and 58% of Americans have a concern about that?

Should Edwards and Obama get out of the race because the Ripublicans will run ads of cocaine snorters and inexperienced candidates sitting in hair salons?

Should Al Gore, whose poll numbers are truly abysmal be bought in the race in spite of his very low favorable poll numbers?

“But,” Big Bloggers insist, Hillary is only winning because of her high name recognition. Let’s look at another poll that came out this week. The Gallup poll says Hillary has 98% recognition of her name.

“John Edwards has a healthy 80 percent name recognition — but that is not the story. The story is that John Edwards’ name recognition has gone down. That’s right. In September 2004, Edwards’ name recognition was at 86 percent. Now, after years of continuous campaigning, a smaller percentage of people know who he is.”

“Barack Obama is another interesting story. In December, his name recognition was at 53 percent. “By this February, Obama’s name ID had shot up to 72 percent, but has not been much higher since, despite the intense news coverage given to him as he has engaged in active campaigning,” Gallup reports. “His current name identification, 75 percent, is roughly the same as in February.”

Why are Obama and Edwards having name recognition problems? Maybe it’s because their respective campaigns are doing such a poor job. These campaigns love to blame the media for not paying them sufficient attention, which in Obama’s case is not at all true, but this is just a poor excuse. Campaigns exist to address and correct problems. If there is insufficient name recognition then it is the campaign’s job to raise that recognition. These guys need to perhaps start running ads because so many people don’t know who they are. But stop complaining. Do your job.

We are going to let the lady herself answer the question of why her some people have a problem with her (and Brian Williams is wrong when he says it is a majority of the public). Clue: She fights to get things done and has done so for decades. She doesn’t just give pretty adjective laden introspective speeches. From the first debate:

Brian Williams: Senator Clinton, recent national polls indicate the majority of the general public has an unfavorable view of you, right now, at this point in time. Why do you think Republicans are looking forward to running against you with so much zeal?

Hillary Clinton: Well, Brian, you’d have to ask them. I’m sure that they would give you all the reasons.

But, from my perspective, it may have something to do with the fact that I have stood up for what I’ve believed in.

I tried to achieve universal health care back in ’93 or ’94, and I still have the scars from that experience. You know, I take it as a perverse form of flattery, actually, that if they weren’t worried, they would not be so vitriolic in their criticism of me.

Because I believe that the country is ready for change. I believe America is ready now for universal health care. It is ready for a new energy policy. It is ready to deal with global climate change. It is ready to clean up the government after the corruption and the cronyism of the Bush years.

It is ready, once again, to be a leader in the world, where we create alliances instead of alienation. I think that’s what they’re most worried about, because I am serious about doing that. I am serious about getting the presidency once again to lead, and I believe I’m ready to do that.

Hillary Will Win.

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