Thursday, April 12, 2007Okay, this is just silly. From the Hotline:
The new Hotline/Diageo poll has a generic Democratic presidential candidate beating a generic republican presidential candidate by 18. 18. Yet (see last week’s Time mag poll) our alleged top tier candidates all lose in hypothetical match ups to real Republican candidates. That is, Senators clinton and obama are more than 20 points less desirable to voters than an imaginary Democrat. our “top tier” candidates may be the only Democrats in existence who can’t win in 08.
You switch from generic candidates to real candidates, and you're somehow surprised that there's a change? Is he aware that there is no such candidate as Governor Generic? Once you put real candidates into the mix, the political balance of forces changes appreciably. Duh.
I could quibble and say that there are plenty of other polls out there in which Clinton, Edwards, and Obama perform better. But what we are really talking about is Giuliani and McCain's ability to compete even while the Republican party is so unpopular. Their ability to do so has nothing to do with the weaknesses of the Democratic candidates, and everything to do with McCain and Giuliani's images as "different kinds of Republicans." Note that Romney, who is so little known that he is a de facto generic candidate, gets crushed by the Democratic frontrunners. If the problem were bad Democratic candidates, Romney would be doing a lot better.
Now I don't happen to think that Giuliani will win the nomination, or that McCain in a general election would be able to preserve his hold on Independents. But I will say that if the Republicans nominate a candidate who is a conventional conservative, and we are still in Iraq come next November, that candidate will get crushed by almost any Democrat.