Women lead early presidential polling

By Risa Wechsler | October 23, 2005 7:06 pm

rice-clinton 08
Like Mark, I’m not a big fan of either Condoleezza Rice or Hillary Clinton as a presidential prospect, and I think it’s likely that both may be too tainted by the lies of the respective administrations they are associated with (just you wait, Condi). But this graph (via the polling report) is pretty amazing.
I’m guessing that this must be the first time in American history that a woman has been in the lead for the presidential primaries of both major parties. Must be Geena Davis’s fault.

Also worth noting that the top 3 contenders in the Republican primary (>60% of the vote) are generally referred to (depending on the topic) as “moderates” (the top two are at least moderately pro-choice) — despite the frequent loud claims about the Republican base would never support such people. Poor Frist and Santorum got so little support in the poll that they didn’t even make it onto the graphic…

UPDATE: Pam at Pandagon points to a recent poll indicating that 28% of voters are unlikely to vote for a women of either party for President, no matter who she is. I’m not surprised, but this just points to one more reason it will be difficult for either of the above women to win. As Moshe points out below, these early polls are notoriously unrelated to who actually wins the nomination, but this does still seem like an important milestone.

  • Moshe

    I personally would not read too much into it. Like similar polls in 1998 and 2002, success is just a function of name recognition. When time comes to the actual competition, this name recognition and any kind of track record is generally a disadvantage. Some obscure governor of a southern state, or some such person, will be the most likely candidate of either party.

  • Elliot

    Gee, if I were Bill Frist I’d be a little concerned even though its early. He could be toast anyway with the HCA stock stuff.

  • http://stophernow.blogspot.com jami

    the way hillary dealt with, um, the lie bill clinton told was pitch-perfect. she did stand by her man, protestations to the contrary aside. republicans who bring up a candidate’s husband’s blow job nine years later will look ridiculous indeed.

  • citrine

    With newer issues like war and terrorism (and the expenses incurred on those) at the forefront, wouldn’t the contenders’ personal stuff take a backseat for the majority of people?

  • janet

    I think a lot of people have forgotten why they hate Hillary Clinton so much, if they ever knew. Nevertheless, many people do hate her, and I just don’t see her getting the nomination.

    As for issues vs. character, for a lot of people character is the issue. It’s so much easier to form an opinion on character than to actually think about the issues, let alone about policy.

    The last 10 years or so have been very hard on people who have any hope for substance in the US political process.

  • loonunit

    I don’t think we should read too much into that 28% of people who say they would be unlikely to vote for a woman. Given the sharp political divisions which exist in this country right now, a person’s knee-jerk response to the idea of a woman president is likely to be drowned out by their utter contempt for her opponent. A lot of people don’t vote for their candidate; they vote against the opposing philosophy.

    It might affect the primaries, however: I know at least one long-time Democrat who voted for John Kerry because he thought Kerry “had the best chance.”

  • http://rdvlivefromtokyo.blogspot.com/ Rod

    Where’s Powell? He seems like the most likable, and perhaps likely, Republican.
    Where’s Al?

    As Moshe said, at this point it’s primarily name recognition. I think Hillary is nominatable(?), but not electable. People may have forgotten why they disliked Hillary a decade ago, but the Republican Party will be sure to remind them. In fact, she might almost be the GOP’s first choice for an opponent — they would have fun nipping at her.

    Actually, at this point, it seems to be a race to the bottom and show that *both* parties have neither vision nor conviction.


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