Monday, June 11, 2007

Latest Polls: Obama Strongest General Election Candidate

A new Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll indicates that Barack Obama would be the strongest candidate in the general election, thanks to an unlikely source of support: Republicans.

While these early polls are highly speculative and largely meaningless, it is interesting to note that Obama is the only Democratic candidate who performs well in head-to-head polls versus the three major Republican candidates.

Among the findings of the poll:

  • 15 percent of Republicans say they would choose Obama in a head-to-head match- up against Rudy Giuliani. Just 3 percent of Republican respondents say they would pick Hillary Clinton in a similar contest.
  • A majority of Democrats say they favor ``a candidate who can bridge partisan divides'' -- a central theme of his campaign -- over a candidate ``with long experience in government and policy making,'' a cornerstone of Clinton's self-presentation. Independents voting in the Democratic primary say they favor unity over experience by more than 2-to-1.
  • 18 percent of Democratic primary voters say they couldn't vote for Clinton, the highest negative rating of any Democrat. Five percent say they couldn't vote for Obama.
In recent polls, Clinton still leads by 11 points among core Democrats, and Clinton supporters would probably point to Obama's success appeal among Republicans as evidence that he is more moderate than liberal. Yet with so many tough challenges ahead--Iraq, Afghanistan, climate change, health care, immigration--it is heartening to know that even Republicans are rallying around the one candidate who they believe can bring this country together and tackle the tough issues.

Clearly, Obama's message has been resonating among voters across the political spectrum: Partisan bickering has led us down the wrong path--It's time to come together and turn a new page in America's history.