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Ken Houghton

Huckabee is lovable: he battled weight problems (even if he lies about his solution now), he lived in a double-wide for a year when he was Guv'nor, and he says All the Right Things.

But I would vote for Obamanation before him, let alone the woman who worked her arse off meeting people in NY, learning what they wanted, and trying to get it for them.

Bill Altreuter

It's a mistake, I think to look at this sort of polling data and then reflect on whether they are consistent with how you'd act. There are a number of reasons for this, starting with the fact that you are, I'd guess, unusual by reason of being an engaged and active voter-- the majority of people aren't.

More than that, though, is that polls don't, and aren't intended to, measure individual behavior. They represent and aggregate, based on a sample, and contain a number of assumptions. One of the assumptions that "electability" polls make is that a favorable view of a candidate will motivate people-- in the aggregate-- to go to the polls and vote. This is tricky stuff, and seems to be one of the problems that pollsters are having in predicting the Democrats' primaries. Apparently women are more motivated to go to the polling place to vote for a historic candidate than had been assumed.

Of course you and I-- and probably most of the people that visit your site-- are going to vote, and of course we are going to vote for the candidate that supports policy positions which we favor, rather than the guy who seems likable, or the guy who seems like a straight talker. We are not predictable in the same way that polls measure predictability.

BTW, what is there to like about McCain? He is far more right wing than he is perceived, and the fact that he has embraced the worst of the Bush Administration's policies suggests to me that he is a lot less principled than he is thought to be.

Lance

Bill,

Actually, I don't like McCain at all. I just have a more "favorable" view of him than I do of Huckabee or Romney or Rudy. But that's another problem with the favorable-unfavorable question. The terms aren't defined. I'll bet most people interpret it as "Do you like this candidate?" and the answer to that one doesn't predict a thing. Lots of people vote for candidates they don't like and against candidates they do.

merciless

The question of whether the right will get out of their chairs just to vote against Hillary is interesting, and I don't think we'll have any way of knowing that unless and until it actually happens.

I kinda think it's unlikely; the right-wing political sites are pretty depressed these days, and uninterested in any of their candidates. Of course, it's a long time between now and November, and who knows what will happen, who will actually win the nominations, etc.

But I still feel that it takes an awful lot to get Americans up to vote FOR something, and would take an awful lot more to get them to vote AGAINST something.

Just my $0.02.

Mike the Mad Biologist

For me, if it comes down to a choice between Clinton and Obama* (and for the first time in my life I get to vote in a presidential primary that means something), my primary concern will be who helps or hurts downticket candidates (congressional, state, and local). I haven't figured that out yet.

*Because I vote Feb. 5, I could actually vote for Edwards and it might mean something (maybe).

merciless

(and for the first time in my life I get to vote in a presidential primary that means something)...

Me too, Mike! Ain't it cool?

huh

FWLIW, I am a long standing independent in the reasonably in play Commonwealth of Virginia. I will enthusiastically vote for Obama, would vote for Edwards but under no circumstances would I vote for HRC - and could even be convinced to cast my first vote for a GOP candidate ever in the event of her candidacy - even in the face of having a GOPer follow the worst President in history.

Anecdotally, I know a lot of other independents here who feel exactly the same way. . .so I wonder if you aren't too quick to dismiss Chait in such an out of hand way.

Doghouse Riley

Hey, weren't these guys goin' on about The Bradley Effect ten days or so ago? We're back to taking Obama's numbers at face value again?

If I were a Yellow Dog Democrat I think I'd be a lot more concerned about Press treatment than finding and petting the elusive independent voter.

lina

How many dejected, demoralized Republicans will come out in November to vote against Hillary Clinton? Answer: ALL of them.

If John McCain is the Republican nominee, how many Independents will vote for Hillary? Answer: NONE of them.

Will having Hillary at the top of the ticket assure a 60 vote Dem. majority in the Senate starting in 2009? Answer: Hell No. (why do you think all red state Democratic pols are endorsing Obama?)

That said, if the econony keeps getting worse, Hillary might squeak out a win over McCain because some Independents might vote for Bill's third term.

Chris the Cop

I think McCain is the weakest of all the GOP candidates and would be the easiest to beat.

I think if Hilary wins, it will be 4 or 8 more years of vicious brawling in DC and the general public will be sick of her within 6 months the way the general public got sick of Reagan, Bill and George BushII at the end of their 6th or 7th year in office.

Just my $0.02 as well.

bill

Will Hilary bring out the Republican vote? Absolutely, positively, Yes indeed. You'll see the Bob Perry/Richard Scaife Mellon/Tom DeLay/Swift Boat opposition machine out in FULL force preaching the evils of the Clintons. Okay, will any dem nominee generate negative opposition/swift boat smears? Yes, but not with the extreme energy that Hilary would generate. That's a fact and you can't deny it.

And then let's consider the ramifications for the senate/congressional races- think they might be impacted by the increased republican voter turnout as a result of a Hilary candidacy? Oh yea, big time, we'd see a lot less of an increase in the dem margins in the senate/house because of the increase in anti-Hilary voters turning out.

jonst

Courage doubters......as long as the eventual Democratic nominee, whomever it may be, shouts loud and clear, "I'm gonna bring the troops home from Iraq now (as in the next 6 months)and I'm gonna take the money we're spending on the war, and spend it on the sick economy and health care" period. He or she will bury the GOP nominee whomever it is.....

Have faith in the American people....they/we are sick of this shit. And it would not hurt to throw in something like, "and I'm gonna fix the god damn airport security as well'.

Rove is trying to guide the media into scaring us away from Hillary. Now. And Obama, next, if he gets the nomination. You will see the narrative created for Obama, hell, Klein just outlined for you in the link Lance posted. Courage...a storm is a brewing and it is gonna hit on election day. But if the Dem nominee waffles on Iraq....all bets are off from my perspective.

Rana

*sigh*

I have to say that I really dislike the idea of voting based on what The Other Guy might do or not do. If you feel Clinton (or Obama, or Edwards, or McCain, or...) would represent your interests, vote for her; if you don't, don't.

You cannot control the variables on the other end. You can guess what The Other Guy might do, but, honestly, you have no way of knowing anymore than The Other Guy knows what you are going to do.

While people may be choosing against Clinton out of a fear of a mass mobilization, other people may be choosing someone like Huckabee because they figure that secular voters will stay home out of disgust.

Eventually you get trapped in this big round of "I know that you know that I know that you know that I know that..."

For me, that's an enormous waste of energy. I'd rather choose the candidate that makes the most sense for me and figure out how to get him or her elected after the primary.

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