Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Latest '08 trial heat polls

Yeah, it's still early, but I love this stuff. So I'm going to bother my two readers with it and anyone else who happens to stumble onto this site. Surprisingly, I seem to get more traffic from '08 Presidential race posts than anything else, mainly because people are searching for news on their favorite candidate.

So let's look at the latest trial heats, courtesy of Investors Business Daily:

John McCain 48, Clinton 41

Looks like McCain still has a comfortable lead over Clinton. Even though it's early, these numbers are actually pretty firm, considering how many voters have already made up their minds about both candidates. I actually think Mccain's margin would be closer to 57-43 in a real election, because most of the undecideds are conservatives who don't trust McCain. Given a real choice, they'll turn out just to stop Clinton.

Rudy Giuliani 48, Clinton 43

Essentially the same race here, although Clinton has typically matched up better against Giuliani than McCain.

Romney 35, Clinton 48

Romney isn't well known, so take this one with a grain of salt. Still, if Clinton is up to 48, that probably means she can count on that 48% against any generic Republican. Which means she can probably beat any generic Republican. All the more reason for Republicans to bite the bullet and nominate McCain or Giuliani.

McCain 48, Obama 36

Obama is better known than Romney, but there are still an awful lot of people who don't know him(about 45% of the electorate). Plus, he's still essentially a blank slate. That being said, beating McCain in a general will be a tall order even for someone as charismatic as Obama. Obama would match up best with a more generic Republican, especially in a year where the Democrats are likely to have momentum.

Giuliani 49, Obama 36

Same as above.

Romney 31, Obama 43

Now this is more like it for Obama, facing a generic Republican. And Romney is doing his best to be a milqetoast Republican for some reason.

McCain 44, Edwards 43

Now this race is a blockbuster if it happens. Edwards matches up the best with McCain out of all the Democrats. The reason for this is simple. Edwards doesn't have Clinton's baggage, and he's not an unknown like Obama. Plus, unlike Clinton and Obama, Edwards is positioning himself as a clear choice compared to McCain. McCain supports free trade. Edwards is a protectionist. McCain wants to cut spending and is a deficit hawk. Edwards believes in more social spending and puts less priority on cutting the deficit. McCain supports the war in Iraq. Edwards regrets his vote and wants us to redeploy our forces. There couldn't be a clearer choice for voters in 2008.

Giuliani 47, Edwards 42

Now this one is interesting. I think the reason Giuliani does better against Edwards than McCain is because he enjoys more solid Republican support than McCain does. Edwards, unlike Clinton, doesn't motivate Republicans to vote against him and some of the more populist types might even vote FOR him. Giuliani probably keeps the base behind him a little better. At least until they find out his views on social issues.

Romney 29, Edwards 53

Even though Romney's unknown, he's just not going to beat Edwards no matter how high his name recognition gets. Edwards has a compelling message and charm out the wazoo. Only the Republican heavyweights(McCain and Giuliani) can beat him. Romney isn't a horrible candidate, but he just doesn't have the Edwards charm and ability to articulate his message.

Conclusions? Well, first, a few very attractive candidates who aren't currently first tier were left out, namely Bill Richardson on the Democratic side and Frank Keating on the Republican side. But that's only natural, considering that those guys are even less well known than Romney at this point and would just get destroyed in these trial heat polls. But those two will be coming on. Jim Gilmore might even start registering by the summer.

Secondly, Edwards has emerged as a juggernaut. He leads in Iowa and South Carolina, so he has to be considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. He also matches up best by far in these electability polls, so that will make him very attractive. It's been a long time since Democrats could look at a candidate they could actually love this early and see him as electable. The Republicans are in the opposite situation: two candidates who would very likely win, but both with heretical views on issues very important to the base.

This is going to be a fun race.