Giuliani Slipping; HIllary Clinton Maintains 30 Point Lead


The Washington Post and ABC News have just released a new national poll on the relative positions of Democratic and Republican candidates:


Giuliani — 25 pct
Huckabee — 19 pct
Romney — 17 pct
Thompson — 14 pct
McCain — 12 pct

— 3 pct
Hunter — 2 pct


Clinton — 53 pct
Obama — 23 pct
Edwards — 10 pct
Richardson — 3 pct

— 3 pct
Kucinich — 2 pct

Dan Balz and Jon Cohen have useful analysis here — and of course, everyone seems to have to say that Iowa is wide open and competitive in the Dem race.
But I have to admit skepticism that any Iowa poll at this point will seriously disrupt a 30 point lead nationally. What an Obama or Edwards win in Iowa could do is buoy up just a bit anti-Hillary forces in the Democratic Party, but even combined, Obama and Edwards are only drawing 33%.

Hillary Clinton
has the only juggernaut political machine in either party today, and stopping a juggernaut requires both sizzle and a political operation I haven’t seen yet — even with Oprah in the game.
— Steve Clemons


24 comments on “Giuliani Slipping; HIllary Clinton Maintains 30 Point Lead

  1. Kathleen says:

    cms… thanks for the nitty-gritty details. Kerry was indeed tanking in the polls before Iowa, but then Teddy Kennedy’s team took over his campaign and they pakced the Iowa causcuses. The polls don’t mean much. It’s who the party machinery wants that turns out the numbers on cold caucus nights, come hell or high water.


  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Will the real Hillary please stand up?
    An excerpt….
    Regarding Israel, Senator Clinton has taken a consistently right-wing position, undermining the efforts of Israeli and Palestinian moderates seeking a just peace that would recognize both the Palestinians’ legitimate national rights and the Israelis’ legitimate security concerns. For example, she has defended Israeli colonization of occupied Palestinian territory, has strongly supported Israel’s construction of an illegal separation barrier deep inside the occupied territory, and has denounced the International Court of Justice for its near-unanimous 2004 decision calling on Israel to abide by international humanitarian law.
    Senator Clinton has consistently put the onus of responsibility on the occupied Palestinians rather than their Israeli occupiers.
    She has been particularly outspoken in her condemnation of the Palestine Authority, even prior to Hamas gaining the majority in their parliament, for publishing textbooks which she claims promotes “anti-Semitism,” “violence,” and “dehumanizing rhetoric” and thereby breeds a “new generation of terrorists.” On several occasions she has blamed this alleged anti-Semitic indoctrination – and not the Israeli occupation – for Palestinian violence.
    The only source she has cited to uphold these charges, however, has been the Center for the Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP), a right-wing Israeli-based group whose board includes Daniel Pipes and other prominent American neoconservatives, which was founded in 1998 as part of an effort to undermine the peace process by attempting to portray the Palestinians as hopelessly hostile to Israel’s existence. It has been directly challenged by other studies from more objective sources.
    Senator Clinton’s insistence on repeating the propaganda of long-discredited reports by a right-wing think tank instead of paying attention to well-regarded investigations by credible scholars and journalists may be a dangerous indication of how little difference there is between her and Bush in terms of what sources she would rely upon in formulating her policies.
    Another excerpt….
    In response to the Bush administration’s ongoing obsession with Iran, Senator Clinton’s view is that the Bush has not been obsessive enough. In a speech at Princeton University last year, she argued that the White House “lost critical time in dealing with Iran,” and accused the administration of choosing to “downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations” as well as “standing on the sidelines.”
    She has insisted that “we cannot take any option off the table in sending a clear message to the current leadership of Iran – that they will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons.” Though going to war is still very high on her list of options, apparently supporting a nuclear weapons-free zone for the entire Middle East, normalizing economic and strategic relations in return for eliminating Iran’s nuclear weapons capability, and other possible negotiated options are not.
    In defending her vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq in 2003, she has claimed that Bush “deceived all of us” in exaggerating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s regime. Yet, when it comes to the similarly exaggerated Iranian threat, she has again repeated the Bush administration’s talking points almost verbatim. Indeed, as recently as last month she was insisting that “Iran is seeking nuclear weapons,” even though the consensus of the United States’ 16 intelligence agencies was that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program back in 2003.
    Senator Clinton was the only Democratic member of Congress seeking the presidential nomination to support the Kyl-Lieberman amendment which, among other things, called on the Bush administration to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps – the largest branch of the Iranian military – as a foreign terrorist organization. To designate a branch of the armed forces of a foreign state as a terrorist organization would be unprecedented and was widely interpreted to be a backhanded way of authorizing military action against Iran. Indeed, Virginia Senator Jim Webb referred to it as “Cheney’s fondest pipe dream.”
    She initially justified her vote in part because of the Revolutionary Guard’s alleged involvement in Iran’s nuclear weapons program, a position she has had trouble defending since it was revealed such a program has not existed for at least four years.
    In language remarkably similar to her discredited rationalization for her 2002 vote to authorize the U.S. invasion of Iraq, she claimed that it was not actually a vote for war, but simply to give Bush a means “to apply greater diplomatic pressure on Iran.” (Fortunately, Senator Clinton’s position was too extreme even for the Bush administration, which designated only the al-Quds Force – a sub-unit of the Revolutionary Guards which doesn’t always operate with the full knowledge and consent of the central government – as a terrorist organization.)
    She has also decried Iran’s “involvement in and influence over Iraq,” an ironic complaint for someone who voted to authorize the overthrow of the anti-Iranian secular government of Saddam Hussein despite his widely predicted replacement by pro-Iranian Shi’ite fundamentalist parties. She has also gone on record repeating a whole series of false, exaggerated and unproven charges by Bush administration officials regarding Iranian support for the Iraqi insurgency, even though the vast majority of foreign support for the insurgency has come from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries and that the majority of the insurgents are fanatically anti-Iranian and anti-Shi’ite.
    Though Iran’s threat to the national security of the United States is grossly exaggerated, they are a far more powerful country today in terms of their military prowess than was Iraq in 2002, when Senator Clinton supported invading that country because of its alleged danger to U.S. national security. It would be naïve, therefore, to ignore the very real possibility that, if elected president, she would find reason to invade Iran as well.


  3. Carroll says:

    Posted by pauline at December 12, 2007 02:45 PM
    That Kos site has to be the worst….it convinced me I definitely wasn’t a “progressive”. I started reading it about a year ago and after a few weeks became convinced Kos was a shill for the dem “establishment”. Those Kos “progressives” are as bad as the right wing RedState bunch, they just whine about different things.


  4. bluemoon says:

    Clinton/Clark- let’s get this show on the road! I’m already ready already.


  5. pauline says:

    After everyone turns their TVs off tonight after watching the Democrats debate in Iowa, Albert Gore Jr. remains a duly elected, non-inaugurated, real president of these United States.
    Gore won the popular vote in 2000 by over 500,000 votes.


  6. Alex says:

    You should be ashamed of yourself, Steve. Why did you choose the poll that shows the largest lead for Clinton? To show your total lack of objectivity? To demonstrate the “inevitability” of Clinton?
    It is so sad to see alternative media suck up to politicians just as blatently as mainstream media. It was fun while it lasted, but now people like Taylor Marsh and Steve Clemons use their
    “journalism” to jockey for access with the future Clinton administration. It’s a wise move: say nasty things about Clinton and you’ll get locked out later. Say what you wish about the others: Obama and Edwards won’t deny access like the secretive and authoritarian Clinton will.
    It may be a good career move to carry on like this, but boy is it ever self-serving and cowardly. Downright Hannity-like!


  7. Chesire11 says:

    I think Steve may be spending too much time at Margaret Carlson’s dinner parties! Hillary is inevitable? National polls at this stage measure nothing except how much media attention a candidate is receiving. All of that will change if she is upset in IA or NH. At that point, the chattering classes will obsess about the new frontrunner and how poorly Clinton ran her campaign (they conveniently skip over the matter of how poorly they analyzed the race).
    People do not make up their minds this early in an election. Who will the American people vote for in January? You might as well ask me what I’m going to have for breakfast next Wednesday morning!


  8. Chris Brown says:

    Perhaps the Clinton campaign constitutes a “juggernaut”, but it appears that her organization includes some folks that aren’t to bright.
    The county chairs in Iowa who passed along the Obama is a Muslim email are obvious examples; but the co-chair of the New Hampshire campaign, on the other hand, should have better sense than this.


  9. pauline says:

    …why I am constantly amazed that the so-called “progressive” blogs have chosen to endorse corporate-backed candidates like Hillary Clinton.
    Though Dennis Kucinich espouses ideals resonant with most liberal voters, he is as marginalized by progressives as much as the mainstream media as “unelectable,” though no one ever seems to understand or explain exactly what that means. Is it his ears?
    By all appearances, blogs such as dKos, MyDD, etc, have now simply become another arm of the Democratic party and their backing of the major, big-money candidates simply because they are deemed “electable” entirely betrays the original purpose of their fora.
    The purposefully constrained political party system has, indeed, forced liberals into only one corner. Liberals certainly will not vote for Republicans today. Bush has fairly destroyed any vestige of that odd creature once known as the “Reagan Democrat” and the “major” Republican candidates seem interested in being more Bush than Bush. No, progressives have been forced into seeing the Democratic Party as their only choice and, as the performance of Democratic-led House and Senate have amply demonstrated after over a year in the majority, that choice is a damn poor one.
    Nonetheless, “progressives” are unwavering in their desire for a Democrat to gain the White House, which they believe will lead to some kind of correction of our horribly misbegotten ways.
    But I wonder if they do not find it the slightest bit disconcerting that the leading Democratic candidate is — by far — the biggest recipient of defense industry cash. Do these progressives not see the future in the sign that the health care industry is also backing Clinton above all others?
    What does this tell us about the possibility of Democrats repealing the military misadventures or providing universal health care that is not simply a tax-payer sop to the “health care” industry? Does Kos believe that Clinton is, perhaps, a progressive sleeper agent, that once having soaked up those corporate dollars, she will spring into progressive action, stop the war, withdraw the troops, reinstate habeas corpus, halt the spying, hold the telecoms accountable, and send up those venal HMO corporations?
    It was obvious after the 2004 election that Daily Kos creator, Markos “kos” Zuniga was more afraid of the establishment than he would have people believe when he unilaterally declared that reports of election fraud would be stricken from his site. Despite years of evidence now gathered, despite the volumes published, despite expert opinion and analysis, kos’ position has not wavered on this, despite daily reports of Republican-led election shenanigans across the country, with only the latest (and most benign) being the Romney campaign’s corruption of a Florida GOP straw poll.
    In this regard, he is acting like the Democratic party, too afraid to bear mention that some things have been terribly amiss in recent American elections. If the U.S. Attorney purge scandal, uncovered and now largely forgotten, should have demonstrated one thing to the Democrats, it is that the Republicans, as led by Rove, have utterly hijacked the apparatus of government in service of the GOP. Today, a Democrat sits in prison [ex-Ark gov Don Siegelman] because of these activities, and yet, from the Democrats, not a word. And neither is there one from those so-called progressives like kos.
    One can construct two possible scenarios from the evidence of the corporate largesse directed toward Clinton. One, influential industries really do place their faith in Clinton that she will continue to deliver that which they so desire, and two, that these industries and others backing her are setting her up for a fall at the hands of a corporate media that is well-schooled in the art of Clinton-bashing, in which case the Republican nominee takes the White House.
    The latter is hopelessly convoluted and, despite Republican/corporate control of the electoral system, the outcome is not guaranteed. More likely, of course, is that Clinton has simply been bought off and nothing in her performance to date would dispel that. The added bonus of this, obviously, is that she has to deal with Iraq and can be blamed for that as needed. And despite American public insistence that we leave Iraq, Clinton has more than endorsed our continued (albeit reduced) presence there, as have the other “major” Democratic candidates.
    This reality is something for which progressives can only blame themselves, by ignoring the candidates who promise withdrawal and choosing to vote for someone more “electable.”
    for more see —


  10. pauline says:

    Zogby found in late 2006 —
    “Half of American voters (50%) say there is no link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 terror attacks, while 46% believe there is a connection.”
    How can 46% of people in this country still believe Hussein was involved in 9/11? IMO, given statistically similar poll respondents, virtually half the people aren’t smart enough or informed enough to decide a president.


  11. Robert Morrow says:

    Please look at the post by CMS above. At this time in 2003 AL SHARPTON was polling ahead of John Kerry.
    Anyone who thinks Hillary can win this race after losing Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina is either smoking crack or has sucked too many toes (Dick Morris).
    Voters do not make a decision on who to vote for until the last week. Many of those California and Florida and Michigan voters still do now know who the hell Obama is. But if Obama has a good month in January, you bet they will by Feb. 5th.
    Hillary is in an extremely vulnerable position right now. If I know the Clintons and their aides like I think I do, they are screaming at each other and chunking chairs, computers, and chinaware at this moment.
    The national numbers are very fluid – a few losses in the primaris and it goes from Clinton 45% Obama 20% TO Obama 35% Clinton 30% in a heartbeat. Or even John Edwards if he gets the hot hand.
    We are getting to the part of the movie where the Wicked Witch gets water thrown on her.


  12. Dan Kervick says:

    Just in today: Here in new Hampshire Obama has wiped out a 14 Clinton point lead and he and Clinton are now in a tie


  13. Steve Clemons says:

    cms — that’s really useful data from 2003. Thanks for posting. very interesting to see that Kerry was right near the bottom at this time in the race. best, steve clemons


  14. liz says:

    oops add a couple for Obama and zip on Hillary!!


  15. liz says:

    I saw a clip on You tube that brought up a significant point. The polls are using landlines. If you are like me, most of the people you know don’t even have a landline anymore. So I have a question about who is really being polled. My guess is some pundits make up some numbers. The reason I say that is I live in Columbia SC. And I would tell ya yard sign wise, it’s Ron Paul 10 to Mitt 1 to Mike 2 or 3……
    so if the machines are honest ( and we use ES&S here) it should be really really interesting in South Carolina


  16. Chris Brown says:

    It seems that the trend has been way ahead in the polls, even in Iowa, N.H., and S. C., until the campaigning began in earnest. Obama and Edwards have both closed the gap between themselves and Clinton.
    Most voters, nationally, are not yet that interested in the matter since they are not yet faced with actually making a decision.
    Clinton has her own problems,coming across as petty and mean in the Obama kindergarten essay and reports of friction between Senator Clinton and President Clinton staffs.
    And this interesting take of a Clinton problem which appeared in the Baltimore Sun.,0,7635791.story?track=rss


  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Amazing. Its over folks. When you can have two people like Hillary and Guilliani sold to the American public as viable candidates for the presidency of the United States, the gig is up. Honestly, I never thought I’d see this country sink so low as it has.


  18. cms says:

    You may be right, but don’t forget:
    Exhibit A: a poll from December 2003 – mere weeks away from the Iowa caucuses:
    CBS News Poll, December 14-16, 2003
    Dean – 23%
    Clark – 10%
    Lieberman – 10%
    Gephardt – 6%
    Sharpton – 5%
    Kerry – 4%
    Edwards – 2%
    Al Sharpton was beating John Kerry in the national polls. Al Sharpton. The day before the Iowa caucuses, CBS released another national primary poll where John Kerry managed to climb into 4th place nationally with a whopping 7% of the vote.
    Now, Exhibit B: that same poll taken just after Iowa and New Hampshire:
    Kerry – 53%
    Dean – 8%
    Edwards – 7%
    Sharpton – 4%
    So Kerry wins Iowa and New Hampshire, and his numbers skyrocket to nearly 8 times what they were. What effect did winning just Iowa have on the national numbers? For that, we can turn to Opinion Dynamics. The week before Iowa the caucuses:
    Dean – 20%
    Clark – 13%
    Lieberman – 8%
    Gephardt – 7%
    Kerry – 7%
    Now, taken two days after Kerry wins Iowa and before the New Hampshire primaries, these are what the national numbers were:
    Kerry – 29%
    Dean – 17%
    Edwards – 13%
    Clark -11%
    Lieberman – 5%
    Just winning Iowa was worth a quadrupling of Kerry’s national numbers.
    This pattern can be found in any poll results from 2003/04. USA Today, for example, had the race nationally at 26-24 Dean over Clark the week before Iowa, with Kerry at 9%. One week after Iowa, the national numbers became 49-14 Kerry over Dean. At the point we are at in this primary in 2003, USA Today had Kerry in fourth place behind Lieberman, Gephardt, and Dean in that order – and that was before Clark entered the race and Kerry dropped to fifth nationally.
    Newsweek had the race at 24-12 Dean over Clark before Iowa. After Iowa but before New Hampshire, the race became 30-13 Kerry over Edwards, and after New Hampshire the race was 48-13 Kerry over Dean.
    In Quinnipiac polls, Kerry’s national numbers before Iowa were at 8%. After Iowa, they jumped to 30%. After New Hampshire, they jumped to 42%. AP polls showed Kerry in fifth place at 5% nationally heading into Iowa. Pew showed him in fifth place with 7%.
    You can go through literally dozens of polls that show the same effect, which all lead me to one conclusion: national primary poll numbers don’t matter. What matters is winning early states and riding that momentum. Because, as big of a day as February 5, 2008 is going to be, it is going to come nearly a month after Iowa. And it only takes one day for momentum from Iowa to change the whole race.


  19. Carroll says:

    (The Shorenstein Center analyzed the coverage of the campaign for the first five months of 2007, and found that the media had covered the Dem contest as a “two-person race”,
    Posted by p.lukasiak at December 12, 2007 08:37 AM
    The worst brainwashing for the voting public are the so called TV cable “news shows” and their talking bim and bob’etes.
    I am for whoever they aren’t promoting…just because.


  20. SJH says:

    I would be extremely wary of putting much stock in any ABC/WaPo poll. Not only is it national (and highly irrelevant to the situation in Iowa and NH) one has to wonder how significant it’s measure of African-American Women are when it’s a random sample of 1,136 (approx) people, of which 429 are democrats likely to vote in the primary. Methodologically, I have little confidence in any poll that samples 0.00000143% of the American population and says that’s definitive evidence that X candidate is unstoppable.
    Other polls conducted during the same period showed a narrowing of Hillary’s support. And, with trends, these polls represent a successive narrowing, not a one time drop, starting from two months ago.
    But really, this is all little more than sh*ts and giggles because none of this is likely to affect Iowa (with its odd caucus system) and the winner of Iowa will get a huge boost in later primaries. This is an open game, no matter how authoritative Hillary looks from afar.


  21. p.lukasiak says:

    Actually, I don’t think Obama has a shot in hell, even with wins in Iowa and New Hampshire. He simply doesn’t have the kind of national organization you need to win against a juggernaut like Hillary.
    Edwards, on the other hand, has been putting together a campaign for the last four years — and were it not for the media’s obsession with Obama, would be beating Clinton nationally. (The Shorenstein Center analyzed the coverage of the campaign for the first five months of 2007, and found that the media had covered the Dem contest as a “two-person race”, despite the fact that at the beginning of the year, Edwards was well ahead in Iowa, and had good name recognition nationally.)


  22. Steve Clemons says:

    lm….you may be right, and I’ll be impressed if the course you describe takes place. but a national 30 point lead says something, and despite the tight races in New Hampshire and Iowa, i just haven’t seen much yet that shows me that hillary’s challengers are gaining any real traction. but i keep an open mind.
    best, steve clemons


  23. lm says:

    I think your political analysis is pretty flawed here. I have been tracking a lot of the polls, national and local, very closely and at this point there is a very solid chance that Obama will win Iowa and New Hampshire (3-5 points in each) and then will be able to translate that to a very solid win in South Carolina (8+ points). If he does that those national polls flip….frankly Iowa will change the national polls in Obama wins.
    Past history shows this trend….we are reaching the big mo point of the race and it is with Obama — hence the Clinton campaign (according to both print and tv media the last 24 hours) is being very aggressive in getting opposition research out to reporters to bring him down. The window for Clinton to muddy Obama is closing fast….Oprah was not just about getting folks to hear Obama but about dominating 3-4 24 news cycles….there aren’t many to go.


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