Hillary Leads Obama by 22 Points, Tied with Giuliani

Hillary Clinton continues to dominate the Democratic field but has lost ground in hypothetical match-ups with Republicans, a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds.

After a debate performance last week that continues to produce headlines — and that she admitted wasn’t her best showing — Hillary Clinton continues to enjoy a 20-point lead over her nearest rival in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

What’s more, Democrats still hold a double-digit lead over Republicans in a generic ballot test for the White House, due in large part to the poor political environment for the GOP.

Yet given those advantages, Clinton — as well as the other top Democrats in the race — finds herself in a dead heat in a general election match-up against Rudy Giuliani, who leads the GOP presidential field in the poll.

Additionally, Clinton leads Obama by 28 points in the latest USA Today/Gallup poll and by 31 points in the WNBC/Marist College national poll. Gallup’s Frank Newport, though, notes that these polls have small sub-sub-sample sizes, so that, for example, comparing the reactions of Democrats before and after the debate yields large margins of error. Then again, given the whopping size of these margins, it doesn’t much matter.

That Clinton is running away with the nomination isn’t really news; she has been for months. Perhaps more interesting is the finding by Kathy Frankovic, CBS News’ director of surveys, that there is no gender gap at work:

Among Democratic primary voters in the October CBS News Poll, men were just as likely as women to support Hillary Clinton for the nomination (just over 50 percent in both cases), and Democratic men and women expressed generally similar views of her.

Her explanation is quite plausible:

[I]n these polarized times, partisanship nearly always takes precedence over gender. In a CBS News Poll taken last February, men and women Republicans gave similar evaluations of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. So did men and women Democrats.

In both cases, however, there was a gender gap among Independents.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.