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Clinton Loses General Election

7 years ago
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Will this be the headline circling the globe next November? According to a new Zogby poll, if it the election was held today, and it was between Hillary Clinton and any of the five main GOP contenders, she'd lose. That's right. McCain, Romney, Giuliani, Thompson, and Huckabee would all beat her, if you buy the results of this national survey. So much for Clinton's electability argument. And what about the other Dems?

Clinton's top Democratic rivals, Barack Obama and John Edwards, still lead Republicans in hypothetical match-ups ahead of the November 4, 2008, presidential election, the survey by Zogby Interactive showed.

The obvious qualifier to this story is that it's Zogby who we're to believe. John Zogby is perhaps best remembered for his appearance on the Daily Show back in 2004 where he boldly foretold a John Kerry victory. Though the final 2004 poll conducted by his organization showed Bush winning by a single percentage point (thereby leaving Zogby within the margin of error of the actual outcome of the race), his cocky assurances that Kerry would win still taint any future forecasts.

Polls are nothing more than snapshots of a fluid evolution of public opinion. We should never get sucked into the fallacy of predicting the future based upon the phone recorded responses of the past. Still, polls this far out from voting day do illustrate trends. If we start to see more data reflecting Zogby's results, the Democrats would be wise to re-think nominating Hillary Clinton.

UPDATE: Several commentators to this post have rightly pointed out that Zogby's poll was conducted on-line, at its website. Indeed, that makes it all the more suspect. As my fellow Political Machine blogger Dave reported well after this piece went up, Gallup has just released a new polling data that shows Clinton basically maintaining her lead over Giuliani, and increasing it over other GOP contenders. So there you go. Polls as a snapshot of public opinion. Mabye it's not so bad for Hillary, after all.

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