Daily Revolt

December 22, 2007

Obama, McCain Best in Favorable/Unfavorable

In the end the favorable and unfavorable ratings could decide whom are the nominees of their respective parties. In that case, it is looking good for Obama and McCain:
Among the leading Presidential candidates, New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney have the highest level of core opposition among voters. Forty-seven percent (47%) say they will vote against each of these candidates no matter who else is on the ballot.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Arizona Senator John McCain. For the second straight month, McCain finds himself with the smallest level of core opposition--just 33% say they will definitely vote against him. That figure is unchanged from a month ago, down from 39% a two months ago and a peak of 42% in June. These results are just one part of the reason that it is a good time to be John McCain.

[...]Results among voters not affiliated with either major party show that 48% would definitely vote against Clinton. That’s the highest level of core opposition among unaffiliated voters encountered by any of the candidates in the survey. Giuliani is close—44% of unaffiliated voters would definitely vote against him.

McCain has the lowest level of core opposition among unaffiliated voters--just 26% are committed to voting against McCain.

On a net basis, McCain (-6) and Obama (-11) have the best numbers among unaffiliated voters. Clinton (-26) and Romney (-20) have the weakest showing among this group.

It doesn't help Hillary's favorability when she spends so much time attacking Obama:
[...]many people find it more than a little unsettling — and dismaying — that the former president is targeting the Illinois senator with the same kind of criticism that Clinton faced in 1992.

Reed Hundt, who attended law school with Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, said he admired them both even though he was not supporting the New York senator's bid.

But he questioned some of the ex-president's recent statements, including a suggestion that a vote for the Illinois senator was like rolling the dice.

"President Clinton is going way too far — too far into the politics of personal attack, which he knows is bad for the country," Hundt said. "It's not right for a former president to get out there and be demeaning any of our candidates.

Hundt, who is supporting Obama but not working for his campaign, was Clinton's appointee to head the Federal Communications Commission during his first term.

Even some supporters of Clinton question her husband's turn to negative campaigning.

"He's got to take the high road," said Leon Panetta, chief of staff in President Clinton's first term. "He's strongest when he praises Hillary. He's weakest when he comes out as the attack dog."

And while Huckabee and Romney keep driving up their negatives, McCain is sneaking up:
Romney struck a belligerent tone: He called Huckabee soft on crime and disloyal to President Bush, amplifying the assault with mail, radio and TV attacks.

Huckabee struck back, telling a Davenport crowd that Huckabee's leniency "would be real news to the 16 people whose executions I carried out" as governor of Arkansas. His manner, though, was relaxed, his barbs less pointed than Romney's.

With Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses less than two weeks away, the clash between former Massachusetts Gov. Romney and Huckabee has turned into a central drama of the contest that will open the 2008 race for the White House. The brawling grew nastier this week as the two crisscrossed Iowa.

As Romney darted this week from Davenport to West Des Moines, Indianola, Fort Dodge, Orange City and Council Bluffs, he was fighting for survival. For the most part, that entailed hammering away at Huckabee.

Arkansas faced big troubles with methamphetamine abuse during Huckabee's 10 years as governor, Romney said, yet Huckabee moved to reduce mandatory sentences for users. Romney also suggested that Huckabee was too quick to pardon convicts, boasting of his own refusal to grant reprieves to prisoners in Massachusetts.

"When it comes to deciding who's going to be the toughest who deals with criminals, there's no question but that my record suggests that giving out no pardons is a heck of a lot better than giving out 1,033 pardons," Romney told reporters at a trucking-company warehouse in Fort Dodge.

Romney's focus on crime follows his accusation that Huckabee was too kind to illegal immigrants in Arkansas, namely by charging their children the same college tuition that legal state residents pay.

That line of attack persuaded Mel Masuen, 58, a weights-and-measures technician from Le Mars, Iowa, to favor Romney over Huckabee. "I don't like his history on immigration," Masuen said of Huckabee, after hearing Romney speak Thursday at a high-tech factory in Orange City.

At a country-club breakfast in Indianola the same day, Romney also poked at Huckabee for writing in Foreign Affairs magazine that the Bush administration had "an arrogant bunker mentality."

"I thought: How in the world can you say this about this president?" Romney told the crowd. "This president has kept us safe these last six years, and we owe him a great debt of gratitude."

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