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Romney's September Slide


Mitt Romney on parade in New Hampshire last month. (AP).

For the past nine months, Mitt Romney has had a clear and explicit strategy: win Iowa, win New Hampshire and hope the momentum from those victories would carry him to the Republican nomination. For eight months, that strategy appeared to be working. But there are now signs of trouble in New Hampshire.

Romney has experienced a September slide in the Granite State. At the beginning of last month, his standing in New Hampshire hovered around 30 percent. Today, it's closer to 25 percent. Three polls in the past week have recorded a decline in his support, with Rudy Giuliani and perhaps even John McCain threatening his position.

As the former governor of Massachusetts, Romney can ill-afford a loss in New Hampshire. His next-door-neighbor status and the fact that he has a summer home in New Hampshire give him something akin to a home-state advantage. A defeat in New Hampshire could negate the value of a victory in Iowa and put him on the defensive heading into what promises to be much more difficult terrain in the South.

What the latest round of polling suggests is that Romney has not been successful in translating his victory in the Iowa straw poll last August into additional support there or in New Hampshire. His straw poll success gave his candidacy added credibility, even though he continues to run fourth in national polls. But in doing so, he established expectations for himself that he will now have to fight hard to realize.

At Romney's headquarters in Boston, top advisers are working hard to knock down any suggestions that he's hit a wall in New Hampshire. "There's no panic in Boston," deputy campaign manager Alex Gage said by telephone Wednesday morning. "Steady as she goes."

Armed with a series of charts and graphs, the Romney camp offers a counter explanation -- and a longer view -- to explain what has happened in New Hampshire. In their analysis, Romney began the campaign at a significant disadvantage, there and nationally, despite his neighborly status.

Both Giuliani and McCain, they said, were far better known and in McCain's case had a built-in base of support in New Hampshire because of his victory there in the 2000 Republican primary. Taking the long view, they argue that Romney was at about 10 percent in New Hampshire at the turn of the year and now is leading, albeit it narrowly.

"We've put ourselves into position to be very competitive there," said spokesman Kevin Madden.

The Romney strategy hinges on several factors. First is the need to consolidate more support among New Hampshire Republicans. In contrast to Iowa, where conservatives put a higher premium on social issues, New Hampshire conservatives are more interested in economic issues.

Romney currently holds a bigger lead among conservatives than among all Republicans and his advisers said he'll delivered a concentrated dose of small government and low taxes as he campaigns in the state. "That's what New Hampshire is known for, that's what they demand," Gage said. "We think we can build a very strong case for the governor and his economic record and what he's going to do going forward."

Giuliani's campaign advisers see this as a fight they welcome. "Regardless of misleading labels, his governance [in New York] has been more conservative than anyone in this race," Giuliani's campaign manager Mike DuHaime said in an e-mail response on Wednesday morning.

What should concern Romney's campaign is that it has taken $2 million in advertising in New Hampshire to put him into this position -- at a time when other candidates have spent next to nothing. Soon, Romney will not have the airwaves to himself.

Giuliani has yet to run a television ad in the state, but his campaign has been talking to New Hampshire voters frequently with direct mail and radio. Through a sophisticated voter targeting operation, he has sent seven different pieces of mail to New Hampshire voters who are likely to vote in the GOP primary in January and it appears to be paying dividends.

Romney also hopes to make himself the change-oriented candidate in the GOP race, believing that will be a crucial to Republican hopes of winning a general election at a time when the voters seem anxious to put the Bush years behind them. But the latest national poll by the Post and ABC News shows that, at this point, two-thirds of Republicans say they're looking for a candidate with strength and experience, not one who promises a change in direction. That fits Giuliani more than Romney right now.

There are two wild cards to consider about New Hampshire. The first is McCain, whose campaign is once again showing signs of life. New Hampshire is most critical to his hopes of becoming the nominee. The better he does, the harder it will be for Giuliani to defeat Romney. At some point the Giuliani campaign may face an excruciating question: should they attack someone for whom he has long shared mutual respect?

The other is the role of independents. In 2000, unaffiliated voters in New Hampshire flooded into the Republican primary and gave McCain a big boost. This time there is every expectation that the Democratic race will draw a much higher percentage of these voters. The uncertainty makes all polling part science and part guesswork: how many independents are included in any poll affects the overall shape of the race.

Finally, Romney is facing historically tough odds in pulling off his early-state strategy. No Republican nominee has won both Iowa and New Hampshire since the two states became the dominant early contests. But having staked so much on the two states, he may suffer if he fails to deliver.

"We have said this race is unstructured," Gage said. "It's not based on a well-defined definition of the candidates. The next 100 days are it."

That makes New Hampshire the critical early test for the Republicans. Romney advisers believe the more competitive New Hampshire becomes, the more value there is in winning. He begins the final months perched most uneasily atop the field but in a race that remains wide open and unpredictable.

--Dan Balz

By Washington Post editors  |  October 3, 2007; 1:25 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , Dan Balz's Take  
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Comments

fkpaxson has been watching too many Law and Order reruns.

He didn't say a single nice thing about Thompson and yet he's still willing to vote for him.

It's this goddamn "principles" business that has gotten us into this mess in the first place. I would rather vote for someone who wants to solve problems than someone who wants to get his own way all the time.

Posted by: frantaylor | October 4, 2007 2:26 AM | Report abuse

Senator Fred Thompson is the only major candidate that gets it. He makes decisions based on principles. Principles don't change. You have to stand for something and not change who you are based on the polls. That is what Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani have done and all of the Democrats do it. Give me a leader that will stand by his principles anyday versus someone that stands for everything.

I know many, many Republicans that will stay home if Rudy Giuliani is the candidate. He does not represent our values as Conservatives, and never will. Mitt Romney is a RINO (though a very nice man) that simply has everything else and nothing to do. "I guess I'll just try to buy the presidency". Conservatives will simply stay home and the Democrats will pick up additional seats in the House and probably get the 60 seats in the Senate they need to completely destroy our Country. Nice picture huh?

However, I think Fred can bring America back together, if that's even possible. America needs a rebirth of patriotism and honor. Republicans also need a rebirth. President Reagan was our last rebirth and he can never be duplicated. Fred Thompson will bring his own down-to-earth common sense to this Country and strength back to our party. A little of the good old days of faith and family would do well for this Country. If a Conservative runs as a Conservative, he will win!

Think of it this way: Eight years of another Clinton White House? Now if that is not a sufficient enough reason to pull together as a party, as a Country, and fight this socialist liberal takeover of our government, what is? It is not impossible to take back the House and the Senate. We are winning in Iraq--they know it. The best they can do now is stop our progress and choose defeat, just like they did during Vietnam. We lost because Congress chose defeat. History repeats itself when not learned from.

Folks, we are in for the fight of our lives, just as our young men and women are fighting for our freedoms in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must fight for our Country right here and now! I truly believe Fred Thompson is the one man who can pull this party and nation back together! Rudy Giuliani will just tear us apart as a party. Liberal is liberal every day of the week.

Really tick off the leftist democrats and contribute to Fred Thompson: https://www.fred08.com/contribute.aspx?RefererID=c637caaa-315c-4b4c-9967-08d864cd0791

Posted by: fkpaxson | October 4, 2007 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Let me also say that as one of those voted for McCain in the 2000 primary, I did it to vote against Bush, not for McCain. Many others did the same. Don't count on any of that McCain support this time.

Posted by: frantaylor | October 4, 2007 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Romney-dude can slide back to Massachusetts with his snail-trail behind him. Maybe those flatlanders were stupid enough to vote for him, but we aren't.

Posted by: frantaylor | October 4, 2007 1:56 AM | Report abuse

I will not vote for a member of congress. They only know how to spend! But I will vote for a governor and/or one who has managed a large enterprise like the Olympics or something big and sucessful. Not a socialist or Marxist. We will lose our country faster if this happens. Mrs Clinton"s by line is "Shared Prosperity". Check it out! Everyone: chose America not Move on.com.

Posted by: hoppyalong | October 3, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Romney has the looks, the hair, the vagueness, everything you want in a Republican candidate for President. But his blandness is almost offensive, and he has zero charisma. Undoubtedly his hair, his looks and his money and his momma's adoration have left him, like Edwards, feeling entitled to the job. We beg to differ.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | October 3, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Mitt bailed out the Olympics in Salt Lake City? Wow, and I thought it was the U.S. taxpayers and all the federal money pumped into the Olympics that save them. Yes sir, one thing a good Rebulican like Mitt hates is wasting taxpayer money. Although the Olympics is obviously not one of them.

Posted by: Mr_Blutarsky | October 3, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

It was only after Bush 41 lost to Bill that Reagan rose in conservative minds as a way out of introspection i.e. Bush lost because he "wasn't Reagan." Before then, neither was Reagan.

Posted by: jhbyer | October 3, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

ROMNEY IS NOW LEADING IN AL 5 OF THE FIRST PRIMARY STATES, INCLUDING SC WHERE HE HAS BEEN SURGING OVER LAST 3 POLLS.

Lol, September slide? He is down 5 points which is within the margin of error of these very small sammpled polls.

Nice try.

In last month Romney has moved from 11% to 26% in SC. Why don't you write about that? Writing an entire artcile about a polling change within the margin of error is just silly.

Posted by: mitchellvii | October 3, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post's article "Romney's September Slide" shows that the paper is very negative about Romney. I am amazed that they dare publish such a one sided point of view. Romney did an incredible job turning around public opinion in New Hampshire and Iowa. He has been focusing on fund raising during September, which will prove to make him one of the most successfully funded candidates. It is time the Post quit trying to put him down here and several times in the past. He is a legitimate candidate. He is still ahead in New Hampshire and will soon be back to encourage his supporters. Romney is the best choice for the economic well being of our country and probably the only one that can curb the national debt. He has high personal standards and will provide a great example to our country's families. He will stop the drift in power, taxes and control of our lives from going to Washington. He has more energy than any of the candidates and this will prove to be a great strength to his campain. Go Mitt! You have our support.

Posted by: bryantford | October 3, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Mitt is the most viable moderate conservative in the Presidential race and the best qualified to bring new leadership with his vision for America's future. As Michael Reagan has reminded everyone, his beloved father, The Gipper; when Governor of California signed a major pro-abortion piece of legislation before he became our party's greatest conservative and pro-life President. So good people do evolve in their positions on social issues.

Gov. Romney has an impressive resume to showcase. When elected governor in 2002 he assumed a monstrous 3 billion dollar deficit and put the state od Massachusetts back in the black without raising taxes.Mitt also brought HEALTH INSURANCE TO ALL THE citizens of Massachusetts in 2006 WITHOUT RAISING TAXES......WOW!

His success in public office mirrors his record in the private sector at Bain Capitol where he reorganized and made household names of companies such as Domino's Pizza and Staples.

Mitt also bailed out the U.S. Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002, and turned a profit there for 100 million dollars. I have nicknamed Mitt, "the Rominator", for obvious reasons.

Candidate Romney graduated valedictorian in undergrad; then pursued a double degree at Harvard (M.B.A. and law) graduating in the top 5% of his class while doing so.

Romney has also taken a tough stance on terrorism and in an interview with the AP in June, Mitt indicated that he was against any permanent US bases in Iraq.

Romney currently leads all Republican candidates in New Hampshire, Iowa and Michigan, Nevada, and South Carolina

Posted by: bridgeway | October 3, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

To the Clinton supporter, understand this: Mrs. Clinton is toast once the Republican candidate is decided and it will be either Mitt Romney or Rudy Guiliani. NOTHING on the planet will mobilize Republicans and moderates around this country than a Hillary candidacy. When the press and the Republican Party have their field day, and they will, she won't have a chance and all the money in the world won't make a difference. The one crucial is this: her negative numbers outweigh her positives. When this is the case, you can't win. Thise will only get worse with time when her agenda is outed for all to see. As Bill Clinton himself said, for a woman to be elected in this country she needs to be in the model of a Margaret Thatcher, not a liberal (I am paraphrasing here).He knows the writing is on the wall even if you don't.

Posted by: the_higger | October 3, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney's biggest strength, is what also sets him apart from half the RepubliCants and ALL of the Dimobrats.

Having his head on his shoulders about who he is(An AMERICAN) and what his responsibility will be when elected(Protect other AMERICANS).

NOWHERE is the issue BIGGER, than in stopping the Invasarios. The Culpability of the entire Hispanic Community in promoting the illegal Hispanics into our country takes this beyond any sort of Xenophobia, and straight into a cultural War and battle for our Country's Sovereignty! If, all the other groups who slip into our Country Demonstrated with Foreign Flags and pocketed together in protective Communities, I would fear them as well. BUT, THEY Don't!

La Raza needs to be OUTLAWED, and their Leaders arrested for Aiding and abbetting Criminal Activity. Presidente Cabrone-Oops, Calderon, needs to feel our wrath at his remark that "Mexico has no Borders, where Mexicans are is Mexico".

No crello Yo Cabrone!

Mitt's approach? Pure un-adulterated Common Sense-Enforce the damn existing Immigration and LABOR Laws! Enforce our National Laws!

Arrest and Fine Civic Leaders who defy Federal Laws and declare themselves "Sanctuaries" for Illegals! Hooo-Boy, there is a real slap in the face to any Legal American resident of that community! Why should Va. County have to pass legislation and battle Law Suits about Illegal behavior that we already have laws against?

SHUT DOWN Day Labor Assemblies that do not take resposibility for verifying Documentation-Fine the one's who help Un-Documenteds get Work!-What Part of"THAT IS HOW A TERRORIST CAN GET SET-UP IN OUR COUNTRY", does'nt the Civic Leaders and our Current Betrayer in Chief GET?

Force Nancy Pelosi to introduce HR:1940-The Birthright Citizenship Act!-Duh!, If your illegally here, so is your damned UN-WANTED Offspring!-Apparently, there are already TOO MANY CHILDREN from Lower Incomes!-I don't want to have to pay for Children Irresponsable Parents can't afford!-Last I checked, there are 7 Billion People on this planet!

The proper handling of an INVASION by a GROUP of People out to promote their GROUP(That BTW, is RACISM, NOT, my Nationalism!), is the Defining Issue!

Now that I have demonstrated my support for Mitt and WHY!, Allow me to add-That I think ALL the Republican Exectutives could be beneficial behind and supporting Mitt Romney on many other issues they champion, and as a very valuable THINK TANK for all the un-forseen things that might occurr down the road!

Unlike the Dim Collection of Congressional(Great Approvals there! LOL!) Lawyers and a Dual Nationality Mexican(See earlier issue! Por Favor!), All the Republicans are EXECTUTIVES!

Viva la Dr. Rudy McRomsonedo! No Viva Invasora!

Posted by: rat-the | October 3, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Romney is running against Rudy who is openly pro-gay"

It's amazing that members of a mainstream political party in a western democracy can use such a statement as a slur.

Posted by: stevenjay | October 3, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"If Romney were an evangelical Christian, he'd have a commanding lead over the other candidates."

Given Mitty's penchant for flip-flops, don't put a campaign trail conversion past him.

Posted by: Spectator2 | October 3, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to be anyone's overpaid consultant, allen, but even though I'm not, I can easily knock your blasts out of the park. Reagan and HW Bush were each at one point pro-choice. Hell, Reagan was a democrat back when democrat didn't mean anti-American...but that's beside the point. You have to consider the time and place and competition in evaluating this. Romney is running against Rudy who is openly pro-gay and pro-abortion and has no actual evidence of strong family values, in stark contrast to Mitt, and Fred's a poser who is already ending up a fad. So you be the judge on where the conservative base will fall.

Posted by: ibrock | October 3, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

All of these numbers and trends point to one conclusion: America is not ready for a Mormon president. If Romney were an evangelical Christian, he'd have a commanding lead over the other candidates.

Posted by: stevenjay | October 3, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

You know what's funny - yeah I only asked it to tell you what I thought was funny.

What's funny is Mitt morphed into this socially conservative anti gay-marriage crusader that can't even speak the word MASSACHUSETTES when he is on the stump.

And it turns out the guy he was when he ran against Kennedy for the senate is who's gonna be the nominee. The guy who is pro-choice. The guy who not only likes gay folk, hell he lived with them.

Poetic is the type of justice that will be headed Mitts way. The story of a poor rich guy that might have had a shot if he'da just been Mitt not a poll tested pol with more late life conversions than Billy Graham re-runs on TBS.

Write this down in your jesus book. He wont make it out of New Hampshire because he will be 3rd in Iowa (the media will all say how shocked they are) and 2nd in NH and the south wont yield him even a 3rd place showing anywhere so he wont bother staying in. His over paid consultants can flame this post but they know its true, but they'll keep taking his money till then.

Posted by: allen | October 3, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

How can anyone say Romney is no Reagan? Reagan wasn't even Reagan until after he was elected and serving for the first 2 years of his first term. C'mon.

Now to compare Mitt to another past President is fitting too: Clinton. Bill was a little known southern conservative (read: centristicish) Democrat Governor of a southern conservative red state who came out from obscurity to win in 1992. Mitt is an unknown moderate republican governor from a liberal northeastern state. Remember it was Clinton's strategy to use 1992 as a platform to set himself up for 1996--he didn't think he could win in 1992. But his charisma matched against HW Bush's stodginess, cut by H Ross Perot created the perfect storm for him to win anyway. Romney has a pretty good chance to do pretty much the same thing in 2008.

With W at record lows, and the democrat-controlled Congress even lower than him, the message I think that sends is that Washington itself is disliked by people right now. This could mean that a Democrat candidate Hillary could very much be weakened by the whole Bush-Clinton-Bush(-Clinton?) establishment, leading to a sort of default to the Republican nominee. That is, depending upon who that nominee is. I think if it's Rudy, they lose. Rudy is running as an even more stubborn, 9/11 obsessed version of W., only with better media savvy, liberal social positions, and a lisp in place of bad grammar. I think Rudy is the closest thing to an incumbent in this race, and I think that will hurt him with moderate, swing voters, while his basically-a-democrat social views will hurt him with the conservative base. All this, I think, will be realized in the primary, making Rudy's shot at getting the nomination fail.

Who else is left? Mitt and Fred. I'm sorry, but I cannot take Fred seriously. He tested the waters on any of Hannity's various friendly shows while everyone else duked it out in 4 debates, delayed his formal announcement on Leno so it would prevent his appearance in the 5th debate, and now he's on record for "not liking the current debate format" instead wanting a one-on-one debate style. Memo to Fred, you can do that if you are good enough to win the nomination, then debate the Democrat candidate. I just get the sense that Fred's trying to win this thing from his couch with his laptop typing away his messages on his website.

Or in short, I think Fred is not only lazy, but an indecsive procrastinator who is timid about debating. And, I think his whole excrutiatingly long water testing period hurt the Republican fundraising field as a whole.

Then there's Mitt, who exudes all sorts of experience and aptitude and energy and, well, victory. He just comes across as a winner, and he has a record in government, business, and the Olympics to support that image. Plus, plus he actually does happen to be the most conservative of the frontrunners. Rudy's effectively a liberal democrat, and Fred is trying to act his way to family values with his 24-year younger wife and their babies, while Mitt is married to his high school sweetheart, with 5 sons and 10 grandchildren. And then, what are the Dems doing? They've attacked Romney more than 20 times more than any other Republican. I'm sorry, but considering anyone other than Romney as the Republican candidate would mean the Republican Party is considerably more liberal than it ever has been.

Posted by: ibrock | October 3, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Christian evangelicals, publicly and pointedly expressing their dissatisfaction with the present slate of Republican presidential candidates for the nomination of the GOP, are threatening to set up a Third Independent Party and put up their own candidate.

This is no laughing matter, nor could a true believer brush this off as simply one of those things.

Christian evangelicals represent a very significant sector of the US electorate. They have a lot of political clout.

If their leaders make good on their threat, GOP candidates for national, state and local offices can be expected to go down in defeat. The Christian evangelical candidate, of course--if there is one--will likewise go down in defeat.

MarPatalinjug@aol.com

Posted by: MPatalinjug | October 3, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Based solely on his religion, I don't think he could get elected in this country. Call me a cynic, but if he is the republican nominee, Dennis Kucinich could beat him, hot wife and all.

Posted by: hatchlaw | October 3, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Mitt has the Romney curse that his Dad George had when he ran for President. To bad reporters don't do research any more or maybe it's better to say dumb. George lost his try as the Oval Office and he had money to buy his way in just like Mitt. Mitt kept his sons out of the service like Daddy did for him. The word that comes to mine when a person say Romney Curse is
BRAINWASH. Now for those who have no idea how that word applies to Mitt and the reporters who aren't on the Bush pay roll, I say Google George Romney for the answer.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | October 3, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Don't buy your inaugural gown just yet for Hillary's inauguration. The press hasn't finished (or started) picking over her past. As much as we have all heard it before, the press will have fun bringing it all back up for her to deny once again.

Posted by: zmptr | October 3, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Despite Monson's triadic, gushing, faith-affirming proclamation of Romney as uber-candidate in the driver's seat, it remains to be seen if the general electorate will accept as viable presidential candidate, an ex Mormon-bishop who has the temperament & outlook of a bureaucrat. Romney in the Oval Office? A dubious, dubious prospect.

Posted by: tlfamm | October 3, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Romney is basically a scumbag. The closer people get to him the more rotten the odor becomes --he stinks, literally! Remember Romney is the guy who tortured his dog a few years ago by locking him in a cage on the roof of his car and driving for eight or ten hours in the hot sun. This guy is a sadistic monster not really different than Michael Vick. He claims that his torture of this poor dog was something that the dog liked. Anyway you look at it Romney is a disaster.

Posted by: nobleone | October 3, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The current Post-ABC poll says it all. She leads all the Presidential candidates in BOTH parties as far as popularity goes. In the September 2007 poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, Hillary 49% vs. Rudy 42%. Hillary 50% vs. Fred Thompson 41%. Hillary 51% vs. ROMNEY 38%!
September 2007 poll by CNN/Opinion Research Corp.: Hillary 50% vs. Rudy 46%, Hillary 55% vs. Fred Thompson 42%. Same poll, Obama 45% vs. Rudy 49%. Obama 53% vs. Fred Thompson 41%.
Inevitable? Perhaps not. Unelectable? Not that either.

'petra2' writes:
I've always voted Republican in elections -- going all the way back to Reagan. And guess what, barring something unforeseen, I'm planning to pull the lever for Hillary in November of 2008 (and yes, folks, I know there's that little matter of her having to win the nomination). I like Obama, too, but he's frankly a bit too far to the left for me. John Edwards just seems tired, and all the Republicans running are incredible pander bears (pandering to the extreme right wing, that is). It is somewhat disconcerting to have yet another dynasty member as our next president. But the times we live in are too critical NOT to choose the best person for the job. I don't care if she's not warm, or not spontaneous, or not likable. Dogonnit, she's clearly the most polished, intelligent, hard-working, well-prepared, and competent candidate running. We can't settle for anything else. I'm personally hoping for a Hillary-Obama ticket in 2008.

'freespeak' writes:
The question is, can anyone stop Clinton?
I say, if they can, now is the time to step up to the plate. She just did five talk shows in one day and hit it out of the ballpark.
Batter up?
I'm a proud supporter of Hillary Clinton (and an Independent from New Hampshire).
I don't understand who these people are, who have these 'HORRIBLE' memories of the nation under the leadership of Bill Clinton.
When Clinton left office, 70% of the nation thought we were going in the right direction.
Currently, 70% of the nation thinks we're going in the WRONG direction.
Oh!
The people who have bad memories of the Clinton years think Bush is doing' a heckuva job!
I get it.

'charly_n' writes:
After the 2006 midterm election, I think Hillary couldn't choose a more perfect year to run for president.
The whole country is now leaning toward Democrats. People are just so unhappy and fed up with the Republican Party which has controlled the country for almost 8 years now. Any Democrats (yes even Hillary) has better chance to win 2008 presidency than any republican. I don't see all these unhappy Americans who clearly want a change in direction in 2006 would vote for another republican again over Hillary.
In 2006, we all saw a lot of good republicans lost their seats to some never-heard-before Democrats because of this effect.
I'm certain that Hillary will prove everybody wrong and she will become the first woman President.

'jnurse' writes:
All you Hillary haters on here are just mad because your candidates have been getting stomped by her for almost a year now. Underestimate her at your own expense. The woman is brilliant, and more politically skilled than her husband. In the general election, she is going to do the Republicans, what she has done to her fellow Democrats for the past year, and that is make them luck unprepared to lead the free world. In November 08, voters are going to be faced with a choice: vote to make history with electing the first woman and also change the course of the past 8 years, or vote for more of the same with a boring white male who backs all of Bush's policies. I think that we have 51% of America that will vote for the former. If you disagree, just wait and see. Her campaign has been flawless, and will continue as such... Enjoy the shadow.

'winngerald' writes:
petera1, no one could say it better than you did! The Republicans view her as a "bogeyman" because she fights back against their smears...and because they have sunk way below their previous depths to a point where they have NO positives to run on...they depend on nothing more than the modern equivalent of inciting mobs with pitchforks and torches into voting AGAINST anything/anyone from gays to non-Christians to communism to deficits (at least until Darth Cheney declared that deficits are GOOD when they're run up by Republicans) to Bill Clinton. I think their formerly mindless followers are wising up to the fact that their party has not been their friend. The left-wing fringe Democrats are so desperate to put a rehabilitated image of "liberalism" on a pedestal that they aren't bothering to notice that the nation isn't becoming, necessarily, more "liberal" as much as it is becoming "anti-right-wing-conservative"...and they hang their hats on my--yes MY--Senator Obama to be their champion without bothering to look at his actual history here in Illinois. He is NOT exactly a "liberal", and he hasn't proven that he can LEAD, let alone be an executive. You can't base your entire candidacy on a) not supporting the Iraq invasion during your tenure in the Illinois State Senate (which can't even manage to do the State's business right now), and b) NOT being Hillary. Edwards would be in the single digits were it not for sympathy for his wife (if it weren't for her tragic cancer, she'd make a better candidate), and ALL of the Republican candidates are flip-flopping jokes worse than fish just pulled out of the water.
You are absolutely right in pointing out Hillary's reelection support in highly-Republican Upstate New York...THEY have had her representing them for almost 8 years, and their Republican support of her says all that needs to be said. Her Republican Senate colleagues speak highly of her, too...she is OBVIOUSLY NOT a polarizing figure, but the fringes in both parties still try to paint her as one for the very simple reason that they are trying to beat her in the upcoming elections...and because she DOES know what she's talking about and DOES have more than basic competence, the only way they can beat her is to plant the red herring that many people have preconceived notions of not liking her. They are TRYING to scare support away from her without letting people see her for herself...without her being filtered and framed by the fringes of both parties. And they seem to forget that Bush was reelected with some very high negatives...people are so numbed by the partisan sniping of the past 12 years and incompetence of the past 6 years that personal negatives don't matter to them nearly as much as much as intelligence and competence do.
I hope that these people start pulling their heads out of their backsides pretty darned quick...and stop living in the past...and stop spewing the old venom that no one is interested in hearing anymore. The Nation has work to do, and no one is better versed, better educated, and better qualified to lead it out of the Republican-created nightmare...ready to roll up sleeves and get to work on Day 1...than Hillary. And when she DOES get elected, I hope that the Republicans give her the deference due her as President that they never gave her husband but expected for his successor for the 8 years to which we have been subjugated. They had their chance, and they've perverted everything they've touched. It's time for a woman to clean the White House!

'jmmiller' writes:
"As a moderate Republican, I find the remarks about Hillary being too divisive either unreflective or disingenuous. Of all the Democratic candidates, she is the one I would consider voting for because she is the only one who takes seriously America's role in the wider world. It strikes me that a lot of the animosity towards her is from the far left that wants to return to the labor glory days of the 1930's. They're upset because she won't hew to the MoveOn orthodoxy. The netroots who are drunk now with their power better get some religion soon - a perception that the Democratic nominee is too closely associated with them will be poison in the general election."

'ogdeeds' writes:
jeez...get over it...for every nasty accusation hurled at Clinton, you can find an equally nasty (if that is how some choose to see it) issue in someone else. All this talk about her taking big $ from corporations, etc.....it is what she does with it that matters. Mostly what I hear her talking about is helping families, children, and the middle class. And oh, by the way, she also has to be president to all those other groups (lawyers, lobbyists, teachers, carpenters, rich CEOs, etc., etc.)Which some of you may or may not like, you know, like other Americans? The last thing we need is another president who only wants to be president to his base. Clinton is inclusive, and will lead for the good of all Americans as well as putting our country back where we deserve to be....respected and (jealously) admired, both for our greatness, and for the goodness we represent...and let me tell you, goodness does not include invading other countries under the guise of "protecting America" - just so one uninformed and ideological president can play out his ideological fantasies of 'transforming the middle east'...what a joke (instead of going after bin laden, the one who attacked us on 9/11 - oops, sorry, some of you still believe Iraq was connected to 9/11) we need someone like Hillary...thoughtful, knowledgeable and smart.

'wesfromGA' writes:
One has to smile at all the "I'll never vote for her" postings. If you are a Republican you were never going to vote for her anyway, if you are one of the distinct minority of Hillary haters on the left of the Democratic Party the essential silliness of this position will soon become apparent if she gets the nod. On present evidence this seems highly likely much to the chagrin of Mr. Balz and the media world who want a horse race because it sells newspapers and air time which is why there is all the parsing in his piece although he accepts the most likely outcome. Absent a major slip up there seems little doubt she has it wrapped up. Contrary to some assertions above she does not do conspicuously worse than Edwards or Obama against any member of the Republican field. On the contrary she does better than either of them and while they have been stuck for months in the mid twenties and mid teens for months she has steadily improved her position and has now been sitting in the low forties for weeks. In Iowa she has come from behind and leads in most polls. Why? Because she is self evidently the best candidate. She has a formidable machine, plenty of money and a few more difficult to pin down advantages like Gender and the presence of Bill who is widely respected much to the chagrin of the right.
The right must have choked over their coffee when Greenspan recently gave Bill stellar grades and of course they responded as they always do by launch personal attacks (there's a typical example in today's post from Novak).
There is no question she is going to get the nomination and a 60% chance she's going to win the presidency. Even some right wingers like Karl Rove are gloomily admitting it.
All the negative comments about Hillary on this board are from disgruntled Republicans who do not have a great choice in their party and will elect a nominee called "none of the above" because Republicans will stay home in 2008.
What a stark contrast there is in the Republican nomination and the Democratic nomination campaigns. Republicans know fully well after G. W. Bush we can only have a Democratic President and its going to be Hillary this time!
People and the writer of this article give undue importance to the Iowa caucus. Isn't it time to break the back of this myth of Iowa's importance? They haven't picked a winner since 1976. And Clinton and Kerry won the democratic nominations without winning in Iowa. Enough with the rural pandering.
I fondly remember the Bill Clinton administration years as pretty good ones in spite of the personal attacks from the right. The personal problems were Bill's not Hillary's. She had to deal with him and the public and she did it expertly with a win as a junior Senator in NY and a re-election where she won 67% of the vote, with 58 of 62 counties including the MOSTly Republican "red" counties in upstate NY.
In the General election Hillary will beat the pants off any Republican nominee trying to keep us fighting the Iraq war.
People forget that Giuliani dropped out in that first Senate race not because of prostate cancer, but because he saw the writing on the wall, which was a certain defeat and an end to his political dreams.
We may have the re-match that we never had. Rudy vs. Hillary. Single point campaign of 9-11 against well rounded Hillary.
When Bill Clinton left the White House we were a nation at peace, we had a sizable surplus, we had a growing economy, and today he is the most popular politician in the nation if not the world.
Maybe that is not such a bad thing to return to. But the reality is that Hillary is not Bill. She is by all accounts smarter and definitely won't have the personal problems that Bill had. She is a master politician and is becoming a master speaker as attested to by looking at her in some of her live appearances and on yesterday's sweep of the Sunday news shows.
It is Hillary's time and it is the time for a woman to be the US President. It is time to break the highest glass ceiling in the US. I predict that many Republican women will join because they have said "I have never voted or never voted for a Democrat in my life, but if Hillary is the candidate and I have the chance to see a woman US President in my lifetime, Hillary will have my vote!"
People underestimate the positive change that will occur around the world in the way the United States is viewed when we elect Hillary. She will be symbol for women everywhere.
It's time to give up the sniping and for some women to stop venting their jealousy, which is really what it is when they complain not about her policies but about her personal choices as relates to Bill.
It's time to think about the nation and Hillary will be good for the nation and the world.

'jmartin' writes:
For people that say Hillary unelectable? Let's see.
The current Post-ABC poll says it all. She leads all the Presidential candidates in BOTH parties as far as popularity goes. In the September 2007 poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, Hillary 49% vs. Rudy 42%. Hillary 50% vs. Fred Thompson 41%. Hillary 51% vs. Romney 38%.
September 2007 poll by CNN/Opinion Research Corp.: Hillary 50% vs. Rudy 46%, Hillary 55% vs. Fred Thompson 42%. Same poll, Obama 45% vs. Rudy 49%. Obama 53% vs. Fred Thompson 41%.
Inevitable? Perhaps not. Unelectable? Not that either.

Posted by: ajain31 | October 3, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

He will be saved by Hillary Clinton's extraordinary laughter.

Posted by: zukermand | October 3, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Romney is DEFINITELY in the drivers seat. He is leading in 5/6 primariy states: Michigan, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada...and now South Carolina. Only Florida remains and he will get there. Say hello to the next president of the USA. GO MITT!

Posted by: brymonson | October 3, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Romney is DEFINITELY in the drivers seat. He is leading in 5/6 primariy states: Michigan, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada...and now South Carolina. Only Florida remains and he will get there. Say hello to the next president of the USA. GO MITT!

Posted by: brymonson | October 3, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Romney is DEFINITELY in the drivers seat. He is leading in 5/6 primariy states: Michigan, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada...and now South Carolina. Only Florida remains and he will get there. Say hello to the next president of the USA. GO MITT!

Posted by: brymonson | October 3, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Of course Romney is no Reagan. But, then again, neither is anyone else. I much prefer Romney over Reagan anyday.

Posted by: ceo1 | October 3, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

All things slide off teflon...and Romney is no Regan!

Posted by: kolp999 | October 3, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

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