Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this post, let me first say (as I’ve often said) that I don’t dislike Barack Obama. Far from it. Anyone who has read my posts over the last several weeks know he stands just about where I do on many issues. I just prefer Hillary Clinton when given the choice. That being said, here is the full text of a memo the Clinton campaign released today after the latest Gallup poll.
With two quarters of 2007 behind us and just 6 months to go until the Iowa caucuses it is a good time to see where Hillary stands and why.
The bottom line? Hillary’s electoral strength has grown in the last quarter and she is better positioned today than ever before to become the next President of the United Sates. Recent polls have her at or near 40% with leads of 15-20 points over her nearest competitors. Voters yearn for change and they say that Hillary has the strength and experience to actually bring about that change. Hillary’s message: that her strength and experience will bring real change that America needs, is resonating strongly with voters.
Despite unprecedented early publicity for all the candidates, Hillary’s support in the last few months has strengthened nationally, in key states and in the general election. This improvement has occurred as voters have learned more about all of the candidates. In other words, as all the candidates’ name ID’s have increased, so has Hillary’s lead.
So far the debates have been the key moments where the voters get to see all the candidates side by side and they have shown just how ready Hillary is to be president and how she has the strength and experience to make change happen. She won the debates overwhelmingly and they are a key indicator of how this race will play out in the next 6 months and in the general election. There will be another debate every month from now until the end of the year, and each debate provides Hillary with another opportunity to demonstrate her experience, talk about her record on the issues, and show voters why she is the person best qualified to be president.
In the latest Newsweek poll, which fielded after the 2nd quarter fundraising numbers were released, Hillary’s lead in the Democratic primary nearly doubled from 12 points in May to 23 points now. Hillary’s favorability has risen to 57% among all Americans, and they say overwhelmingly she has the experience to be a good president (70%). Nearly two-thirds say there is a good chance or some chance they will vote for her (62%).
In the general election, Hillary leads top Republican Rudy Giuliani by seven points (51 percent to 44 percent) in the last Newsweek poll, up from just three points a month ago. The next closest Democrat leads Giuliani by only five points (49 percent to 44 percent), down from seven points in May.
In fact, Hillary leads Giuliani in all the latest national polls — CNN, Fox, Gallup, Newsweek, NBC/Wall Street Journal, Quinnipiac and Cook/RT Strategies. And Hillary is tied or ahead of Giuliani in key battleground states which Democrats lost in both 2000 and 2004, including Florida, Ohio and West Virginia.
As observers like Charlie Cook have pointed out, Hillary has the coalition of support (women, strong Democrats, lower, middle-income and working families, Hispanics and African-Americans) that has traditionally won Democratic primaries. The profile of voters supporting other contenders, according to Cook, resembles the “support profiles of Gary Hart in 1984, Paul Tsongas in 1992 and Bill Bradley in 2000. The numbers are splashy and significant but not sufficiently broad-based to capture a nomination.”
Hillary’s support is highest among key voter groups who make up the core of the Democratic coalition: women, Hispanics, African-Americans, strong Democrats and lower, middle-income and working families. Her lead in the Democratic primary widens to 29 points among non-whites. The latest Gallup and CBS polls confirm the extraordinary enthusiasm for Hillary among women, Hispanics and African-Americans. And according to another recent Gallup poll, Hillary has a 22 point lead over her closest competitor among those who earn less than $50,000 per year.
Every major poll shows Hillary’s lead increasing in the Democratic primary. In the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls, Hillary has a 14.3 percentage point lead, a widening of 5.5 percentage points in the last 3 weeks.
In recent election cycles, any time a candidate has had as much as 35 or 40 percent of the vote consistently across polls in a multi-candidate field, that candidate has gone on to win the nomination. In the last race, Joseph Lieberman was in the teens at this point while Walter Mondale’s numbers in the 1984 Democratic primary were comparable to Hillary’s now.
Recent national polls show just how strong Hillary has become with voters nationally. (Top 3 candidates only shown below.)
CBS News June 26-28: HRC 48 / Obama 24 / Edwards 11
May 18-23: HRC 46 / Obama 24 / Edwards 14
Cook/RT Strategies June 21-23: HRC 35 / Obama 24 / Edwards 15
June 15-17: HRC 32 / Obama 22 / Edwards 16
CNN June 22-24: HRC 43 / Obama 25 / Edwards 17
May 4-6: HRC 41 / Obama 27 / Edwards 14
Fox June 26-27: HRC 47 / Obama 21 / Edwards 13
June 5-6: HRC 41/ Obama 26 / Edwards 15
Gallup June 4-24: HRC 41 / Obama 24 / Edwards 14
June 1-3: HRC HRC 37 / Obama 35 / Edwards 13
NBC/WSJ June 8-11: HRC 39 / Obama 25 / Edwards 15
April 20-23: HRC 36 / Obama 31 / Edwards 20
Newsweek June 20-21: HRC 43 / Obama 14 / Edwards 14
Why has Hillary’s lead grown as voters are exposed to all candidates?
Each time the voters have had the opportunity to compare the candidates head-to-head in a debate, Hillary has come out the overwhelming winner.
In the June 28 Democratic debate in Washington DC, 27 out of 33 participants in a Luntz Maslansky dial group (81%) said Hillary won, compared with just 2 (6%) for her closest competitor.
And Hillary was also the overwhelming winner in the New Hampshire debate.
Who won the debate?
NH D Primary Voters (Franklin Pierce June 4)
Among all D Primary Voters: HRC 45 / Obama 8 / Edwards 4 / Richardson 3 / Biden 3
Among D Primary Voters Who Watched Debate: HRC 47 / Obama 11 / Edwards 6 / Richardson 4 / Biden 3
There will be another debate every month from now until the end of the year, and each debate provides Hillary with another opportunity to demonstrate her experience, talk about her record on the issues, and show voters why she is the person best qualified to be president.
Ready for Change
The reason for Hillary’s growing support is that voters want change, and they know that only Hillary has the record of fighting for the kind of change they want, and the experience to execute it.
In the June 8-11 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 61% of Democrats and Democratic primary voters said that Hillary would bring real change to the direction of the country. 56% of voters say that about her nearest competitor. 62% said Hillary has a vision for the country’s future, more than any other candidate.
Among those people for whom change is most important — working middle-class and low-income families, seniors, working women, and people without health care — Hillary is viewed as the most effective champion.
Hillary is also a leader with key endorsements that have proven valuable in organizing support in early primary states and across the country – including former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, former South Carolina Governor Richard Riley, former Nevada Governor Bill Miller, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, former Democratic House Leader Richard Gephardt, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Philadelphia Mayor John Street, Boston Mayor Tom Menino, former New York Mayor David Dinkins, and celebrities Steven Spielberg and Maya Angelou.
Early Primary States
In most of the key early primary states where the candidates are spending the most time, where voters have the opportunity to get up close and personal, Hillary’s lead is growing while the other leading contenders continue to lose support. (Only leading candidates shown.)
New Hampshire Primary (Suffolk University)
June 20-24: HRC 37 / Obama 19 / Edwards 9 / Richardson 9
Feb 24-28: HRC 28 / Obama 26 / Edwards 17 / Richardson 2
South Carolina Primary (ARG)
June 26-30: HRC 37 / Edwards 22 / Obama 21
May 23-26: HRC 34 / Edwards 30 / Obama 18
Nevada Caucus (Mason Dixon)
June 20-22: HRC 39 / Obama 17 / Edwards 12 / Richardson 7
April 30-May 1: HRC 37 / Edwards 13 / Obama 12 / Gore 9 / Richardson 6
In Iowa, Hillary is locked in a competitive battle.
Iowa Caucus (ARG)
June 26-30: HRC 32 / Edwards 29 / Obama 13 / Richardson 5
April 27-30: HRC 23 / Edwards 27 / Obama 19 / Richardson 5
June 22-24: Edwards 26 / Obama 21 / HRC 20 / Richardson 11
May 18-20: Edwards 29 / Obama 24 / HRC 16 / Richardson 9
Mason-Dixon June 13-16: HRC 22 / Edwards 21 / Obama 18 / Richardson 6
And in the primary states with the most delegates (Florida, New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania and Ohio), Hillary has an overwhelming lead.
Florida — Quinnipiac June 18-25: HRC 43 / Obama 16 / Edwards 11 / Richardson 2
California — PPIC June 12-19: HRC 41 / Obama 25 / Edwards 12 / Richardson 3 http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/S_607MBS.pdf
New York — Siena June 18-21: HRC 43 / Gore 19 / Obama 11 / Edwards 9 / Richardson 1
Ohio — Quinnipiac June 18-25: HRC 40 / Edwards 12 / Gore 12 / Obama 12
Pennsylvania — Quinnipiac June 18-25: HRC 32 / Obama 18 / Gore 16 / Edwards 7
Texas — Texas Lyceum April 26-May 7: HRC 33 / Obama 21 / Gore 10 / Edwards 8 / Richardson 3
And every major poll now shows Hillary leading Rudy Giuliani. In the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls, Hillary has a 2.4 percentage point lead, an improvement of 7.8 percentage points in the last three weeks.
CNN June 22-24: HRC 49 / Giuliani 48
Cook/RT Strategies June 21-23: HRC 45 / Giuliani 44
June 15-17: HRC 42 / Giuliani 42
Fox June 26-27: HRC 39 / Giuliani 37 / Bloomberg 7
June 5-6: HRC 39 / Giuliani 41 / Bloomberg 7
Gallup June 4-24: HRC 50 / Giuliani 45
June 1-3: HRC 45 / Giuliani 50
Newsweek June 20-21: HRC 51 / Giuliani 44
May 2-3: HRC 49 / Giuliani 46
NBC/WSJ June 8-11: HRC 48 / Giuliani 43
March 2-5: HRC 42 / Giuliani 47
Quinnipiac June 5-11: HRC 45 / Giuliani 44
April 25-May 1: HRC 40 / Giuliani 49