A new poll by Rasmussen Reports finds that voters are split evenly in a hypothetical 2008 general election match up between Sen. Hillary Clinton and former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani. Each of the two New York based candidates received 45% of the vote among 801 likely voters surveyed by telephone from April 30-May 1. These numbers are very much in with this same poll last month where Giuliani had a one point lead over Clinton 48%-47%. Giuliani still is the candidate with the highest favorability rating. Giuliani is seen favorably by 60% of voters and unfavorably by 38%. This, however, does represent a drop from earlier months.
Clinton is still as polarizing as ever. Fifty percent of those asked view very her favorably, and 49% view her in an unfavorable light. The slide of John McCain continues as 49% now view him favorably, and 43% unfavorably. This is down 10% from when 59% of likely voters viewed McCain favorably in December 2006. Â Hillary Clinton also leads John McCain in a potential fall match up 48%-44%. This is an increase of 3% over the lead she held over the Arizona Senator a month ago, 48%-47%. A separate poll released on April 25 found that Sen. Barack Obama had also closed the gap with Giuliani. In December of 2006, Obama trailed Giuliani by 11%, but in March and April, Obama closed the gap to within toss up range. Obama also has a high favorability rating of 59%. Both Clinton and Obama run strongly against all the Republican contenders, with Giuliani putting up the best fight.
I think thatÂ what can be read into these numbers is that even the least personally popular of all the Democrats, Hillary Clinton, runs strongly against or beats the Republican contenders. Unless something dramatic happens, and there is still plenty of time for something dramatic to happen, it is starting to look like George W. Bush and the Iraq war have poisoned the well for all the Republican presidential candidates in 2008. The Republican presidential contenders really are in a damned if they do and damned if they donâ€™t type situation. If they donâ€™t support their president, then they alienate the party base, but by sticking with Bush, they are hurting their chances in the fall. I am starting to think that voters would rather have a Democrat that they donâ€™t personally care for all that much, like Clinton, than another Republican who will maintain the policies of the current administration.
Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com. Â His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics