Democrats in more trouble than they are willing to admitThe latest Wall Street Journal poll on the presidential race does reveal some very interesting numbers and contrasts for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:
Among 29% of ALL voters, they need more answers from Obama. They have
hesitations and uncertainties; they want to know, “Is he safe?” -- both in the
sense of credentials/experience but also in terms of life story. The Wright
controversy, the poll indicates, has taken a bit of the shine off Obama, brought
him out of the stratosphere, notes pollster Bill McInturff. Clinton also faces a
similar amount of uncertainties, but among a different group of people.
But the poll didn’t indicate the past couple of weeks’ news hurt
Obama the most; it was Clinton (sniper fire?). She’s sporting the lowest
personal ratings of the campaign. Her 37% positive rating is the lowest the
NBC/WSJ poll has recorded since March 2001, two months after she was elected to
the U.S. Senate from New York. As for the damage this controversy did or didn't
do to Obama, it's a mixed bag. Yes, Obama saw some of his numbers go down
slightly among certain voting groups, most notably Republicans. But he's still
much more competitive with independent voters when matched up against John
McCain than Hillary Clinton is. And he still sports a net-positive personal
rating of 49-32, which is down only slightly from two weeks ago, when it was
51-28. Again, the biggest shift in those negative numbers was among Republicans.
A handful of undecided and pledged superdelegates come forward to
tell NBC/NJ’s Matthew Berger that her campaign's tactics in recent weeks are
doing more harm than good.
For the first time in the fight for the Democratic nomination, we can say without question that Hillary's chances of getting the nomination are in great jeopardy, even with a victory in Pennsylvania on April 22. Not only does the rest of the Democratic calendar favor Obama, but Hillary's negatives among Democratic voters are higher than McCain, and many Obama supporters are telling pollsters that if Hillary is nominated, they will vote in the fall-for John McCain.
Obama's troubles aren't over either, because in spite of his campaign's best efforts to throw water on the fire of the Jeremiah Wright story, the latest poll indicates that those efforts have only been moderately successful, and that is putting it kindly. This means that Obama's biggest troubles are yet to come, since many Americans are also indicating that they are uncomfortable with him because they don't know much about him. As more about Obama's liberal record and past association with the extreme Left is revealed in the fall campaign, he will also have great difficulty beating McCain. One important note about these poll numbers is that Obama leads McCain 44-42% in a head-to-head matchup. That is so close that anything could turn it, and if we were closer to November, pundits would say that the race was entirely too close to call.
The last time polls showed a Democrat leading a Republican by two points in a head-to-head, the election itself fell within the margin of error and came down to hanging chads in Broward County, Florida. All the Democrats who were expecting a vast and overwhelming victory in the fall had better brace themselves for yet another close election and possible Republican victory. At this point it doesn't seem to matter which candidate the Democrats nominate, there are enough problems with either person to make them very vulnerable in November.
And this is a year when Republicans really don't like our nominee.