Friday 12 October 2007

Hillary's hegemony

Of course, commanding poll leads can so easily be reduced. But it is worth looking at the details of the latest Fox News poll (pdf) of what Americans think about their candidates, and pausing to marvel at the sheer hold that Hillary Clinton now has on American politics. Sure, she is now 32 points ahead of Barack Obama among Democrats. But that's not all. When asked who was qualified to be president, 47% said Clinton was very qualified against 34% for John McCain, 32% Rudolph Giuliani, 23% Obama and 16% for Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson. And 44% of Americans expect her to be the next President, against 12% for Giuliani. Of course, there is still far to go, with frontrunners often suffering in the primaries, and the RealClearPolitics average poll of polls gives her a narrower 5.5% lead over Giuliani. The Economist last week explained some of the reasons, but it is still extraordinary how Hillary has managed to create such hegemony over the US body politic.

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