Poll: Clinton Would Beat Rice in Presidential Race
In what seems like an endless stream of interesting but meaningless polls on an election three years into the future, Hillary Clinton edges Condi Rice for president.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton leads Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a hypothetical presidential matchup, according to an independent poll released Friday. The poll, conducted by Marist College’s Institute for Public Opinion in conjunction with New York City television station WNBC, gave the former first lady 50 percent to 41 percent for Rice. But Republicans John McCain and Rudolph Giuliani both topped Clinton. Clinton, McCain and Giuliani are all considered potential 2008 presidential candidates. Rice has said she will not run.
The poll, mirroring other recent national surveys, had Clinton as the clear front-runner for the 2008 Democratic nomination, favored by 41 percent of her party’s voters to 17 percent for Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and 14 percent for former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, Kerry’s running mate in 2004. Asked about Clinton’s political leanings, 39 percent of voters said she was too liberal, while 46 percent said she was about right. “She remains a controversial figure when she moves out from the Democratic primary sweepstakes,” Marist pollster Lee Miringoff said.
On the Republican side, Rice, Giuliani and McCain were about tied for the GOP nomination, each attracting about 20 percent of the vote. But with Rice out of the mix, Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, was favored over the senator from Arizona, 31 percent to 24 percent. No other Republican topped single digits.
That a former First Lady with incredible name recognition and actual experience in elective office is being an almost certain non-candidate who has never been elected to anything is hardly surprising. This is all the more true given that foreign policy is hardly going swimmingly at the moment.
That Giuliani and McCain remain the clear frontrunners for the GOP nomination, despite being well out of line with the Republican nominating electorate on cornerstone issues, is interesting but probably not indicative of much other than name recognition. Since the sitting vice president is almost certainly not running, the Republican field is wide open.
I honestly can’t imagine McCain, who has seemed to go out of his way to tweak the party base, winning many primaries. Giuliani’s liberal tendencies may well not matter, thanks to his strong law-and-order image and the cult status he reached after 9/11. Whether that will much matter seven years after the fact, though, is another matter.