A new ABC/Washington Post poll shows that Hillary is the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, and that Sen. John McCain is the foremost GOP candidate.
The poll does not show who would win in a hypothetical matchup, although previous polls on these two have consistently shown that McCain would beat Hillary.
Hillary garnered a 52% favorability rating and 46% unfavorability rating, which was worse than McCain’s numbers in both regards, as he is viewed by 59% of those polled as favorable and just 29% as unfavorable.
More bad news for Mrs. Clinton is that 33% have a "strongly" unfavorable impression of her, compared with just 11% for McCain.
The poll also indicated that, in stark contrast to Mrs. Clinton, majorities across political and ideological groups see McCain favorably.
About the only good news for Hillary is that she has 16 points more favorability within her own party than McCain has within the GOP, which in theory would make a primary campaign easier for her. But McCain has much stronger bipartisan appeal, which should in theory help him in a general election campaign. Almost three-quarters of conservative Republicans have strongly negative feelings toward Hillary, which ABC strangely ascribes to a "long hangover from her ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ complaint," as though everything was peaches and cream between Republicans and Hillary before her January 1998 remark. The poll revealed that 19% of Republicans have a favorable view of Hillary, while 5% have a "very favorable" view of her, which is interesting.
And although her 52% approval rating seems pretty good for someone as controversial and polarizing as Hillary, her favorables are still not nearly as high as they were during the Monica Lewinsky affair, when she regularly polled in the low-60s, including a high of 64% in November 1998.
The survey also notes that McCain is polling a relatively low 64% of his fellow Republicans, but this will undoubtedly change if he ends up as the party’s presidential nominee, his approval rating in the GOP will skyrocket to at least 95% in November 2008.