Clinton Leads McCain in AP Poll
The most recent AP/Ipsos poll shows Hillary Clinton well ahead of John McCain, and AP’s staff is using this to bolster Clinton’s campaign.
Hillary Rodham Clinton now leads John McCain by 9 points in a head-to-head presidential matchup, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll that bolsters her argument that she is more electable than Democratic rival Barack Obama. Obama and Republican McCain are running about even.
The survey released Monday gives the New York senator and former first lady a fresh talking point as she works to raise much-needed campaign cash and persuade pivotal undecided superdelegates to side with her in the drawn-out Democratic primary fight.
Helped by independents, young people and seniors, Clinton gained ground this month in a hypothetical match with Sen. McCain, the GOP nominee-in-waiting. She now leads McCain, 50 percent to 41 percent, while Obama remains virtually tied with McCain, 46 percent to 44 percent.
Both Democrats were roughly even with McCain in the previous poll about three weeks ago.
If there has been a nine point swing in three weeks, the most obvious conclusion is that 1) there’s something wrong with the polling method or 2) the thing being measured is in such flux as to be not worth measuring at this point. These are not, incidentally, mutually exclusive.
The latest RealClearPolitics aggregation shows that both Obama and Clinton are running essentially even with McCain but tending slightly ahead:
Considering that AP/Ipsos is included in the averages — and seems to be the outlier — it’s even closer than that.
Beyond the polls, my gut tells me that both Democrats are slightly ahead of McCain right now. He supports an unpopular war and is of the same party as the current, decidedly unpopular, president. At the same time, the general election campaign has yet to start. It’s simply too early to get very excited about these polls, especially when there isn’t even a “likely voter” screen applied to them. And, certainly, there’s no reason to base the selection of a party presidential nominee on them.