The Campaign Spot

Looking at the Fine Print in the Washington Post Poll…

I’m looking over the Washington Post’s latest poll, and I notice:

Right-track, wrong-track:
                Right      Wrong      No

              direction    track    opinion 

6/1/07           25         73        2

For comparison, right before the 2006 election, among registered voters, 32 percent were saying “right direction” and 66 percent were saying “wrong direction.” The country’s even grumpier than they were before the Democrats took control of Congress.
And the numbers are even worse than before the 1994 electoral tsunami, when 27 percent were saying “right direction” and 69 percent were saying “wrong track.”
It won’t happen this year, but if the GOP acted like they had learned their lesson, and campaigned hard on “cleaning up Washington” – banning earmarks, targeting pork, lobbying reform, tough new ethics and gift laws, demanding disclosure left, right, and center – then they might have a chance of winning back Congress in 2008. Clearly, the country isn’t much happier with Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid than with their predecessors.
I also noted that the Post had left Gore in their questions about the Democratic field, a decision that I found a bit annoying, since it doesn’t look like he’s running. Thankfully, they asked:

32. (ASKED OF GORE SUPPORTERS) If Gore does not run, for whom would you vote?
NET LEANED VOTE WITHOUT GORE
                         6/1/07     4/15/07    2/25/07
Hillary Clinton            42         41          43

Barack Obama               27         25          27

John Edwards               11         17          14

Joe Biden                   2          2           2

Dennis Kucinich             2          1           *

Bill Richardson             2          3           3

Chris Dodd                  1          *           *

Mike Gravel                 *          *           *

Other (vol.)                *          *           *

Wesley Clark               NA          1           *

Tom Vilsack                NA         NA           *

None of these (vol.)        4          3           4

Would not vote (vol.)       1          1           1

No opinion                  6          5           4

So it seems like Gore supporters – 17 percent in the last sample – break down more or less along the same lines as the rest of the sample. (Maybe a few more Obama supporters among the Gore-ites, so maybe there’s a bit of an anybody-but-Hillary demographic in there.)
When asked to evaluate the candidates’ traits, Democratic respondents find Clinton the strongest leader (50 percent, to 26 percent for Obama and 15 percent for Edwards), by far the most experienced (66 percent to Obama’s 9 percent and Edwards’ 19 percent) the best chance of winning (43 percent to Obama’s 21 percent and Edwards 26 percent) and, in a category that could suddenly be a lot more important depending on what happens in the news in the coming year, most trusted to handle a crisis (47 percent to Obama’s 24 percent and Edwards’ 17 percent).
However, Obama is close in the “understands the problems of people like you” category (33 percent to Hillary’s 38 percent), leads on most inspiring (41 percent to Hillary’s 37 percent).
And on “most honest and trustworthy”, Obama gets 34 percent, Hillary gets 28 percent, and Edwards gets 22 percent. Hmm. Does Obama have the guts to make this the centerpiece of his critique on Hillary?
The Post asked a similar version of the Gore question of the Gingrich supporters:

38. (ASKED OF GINGRICH SUPPORTERS) If Gingrich does not run, for whom would you vote?
NET LEANED VOTE WITHOUT GINGRICH
                      6/1/07     4/15/07     2/25/07

Rudy Giuliani           34         35          53

John McCain             20         22          23

Fred Thompson           13         10          NA

Mitt Romney             10

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