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Parsing the Polls: Hillary Clinton's Support at Home

The Fix remains under the weather, but neither rain nor snow nor a cold will stop us from parsing the polls. With so much focus -- already -- on the 2008 presidential race, we stumbled across an interesting Gallup survey on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

The survey of 840 New York residents, conducted Nov. 5-6, shows that overwhelming majorities of the state's voters not only expect Clinton to run for the 2008 Democratic nomination but to win it as well. Empire State voters are considerably more divided about her chances in a general election.

Nearly seven-in-ten voters said they believe that Clinton will run for president and 63 percent said they believe that decision has already been made. Just 20 percent believe Clinton will not run. (These numbers remain almost entirely unchanged from an October poll done prior to Clinton's reelection last week.)

Voters are also confident of Clinton's ability to win the Democratic nomination. Eighty-four percent of the sample said it was either "very likely" (27 percent) or "somewhat likely" (57 percent) that Clinton would be her party's presidential nominee in two years time. Only 14 percent said that prospect was either "not too likely" (11 percent) or "not at all likely (three percent).

There was less certainty about Clinton's prospects being elected president. Forty-eight percent said she was "very" (11 percent) or "somewhat" (37 percent) likely to win the general election; 49 percent said it was "not too" (33 percent) or "not at all" (16 percent) likely she would win.

This even divide is reflected in the country at large as voters split almost down the middle when asked whether Clinton could be elected president. It is also mirrored in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups with people like Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; Clinton typically trails in these match-ups by single digits, garnering between 40 and 45 percent support.

A few other interesting tidbits from the Gallup poll:

* Asked when they expected Clinton to announce her run for national office, the most popular response (57 percent) was summer 2007. The end of 2007 placed second (22 percent) while the end of 2006 was picked by 17 percent. Just two percent said she would announce by the end of this month.

* In something of a surprise, 59 percent of the sample said Clinton should keep her Senate seat even if she decides to run for president; 35 percent said she should resign if she jumps into the presidential race. That kind of home-state support should be reassuring for Clinton. In past nominating contests, candidates have struggled to balance national ambitions with their constituents' expectations (former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards comes to mind).

The full Gallup poll is only available online to subscribers. The Daily News ran a short piece on it.

Speaking of parsing the polls, if you haven't read Washington Post pollster Jon Cohen's article on how to find good survey data and the best way to interpret it, do it now.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 15, 2006; 9:45 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Election 2006: Winners and Losers
Next: Lott Rises Again


Dear Independent Woman, there is a book coming out this year by Newsweek's Marcus Mabry, TWICE AS GOOD. It is about Condi Rice and how her parents focused her toward excelling in all academic and cultural skills. This woman graduated at age 15, and had a college degree by 19.

This might be the ULTRA woman our nation needs to break through the TOUGH ENOUGH for the job issue. Being tough and just being a bit** are different, so you can see that in Nancy Pelosi's strong arm tactics to wrestle the new Democrats into supporting Murtha. Not a good way to show unity.

Back to Condi. She has charm and dignity, not making a public scene by acting like a bully. No rumor either of her being a bully at the state department. But she is tough on issues and stands firmly for our nation.

Finally, Condi is in the line of succession to be president. She is the only heir apparent and could step into the Oval Office without missing a beat. No on the job training required.

Posted by: Tina | November 17, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I had forgotten that Margaret Chase Smith ran.


Posted by: Rob | November 16, 2006 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Charlie Cook spoke favorably about Hillary Clinton's chances for the nomination and general election this week.


Posted by: Rob | November 16, 2006 2:06 AM | Report abuse

As much as I'd love to see a woman elected, I can't see Hillary winning votes in red state America.

The unfortunate fact is that at the present time, only the bluest of blue states elect (and return) women to Congress.

I'm not aware of too many moderate women from the midwest or sunbelt in high office. And *that* is what we'll need to eventually elect a woman president.

Any woman candidate may have to be *ultra*-electable in order to break through the obstacles confronting her because of sexist stereotypes and expectations.

Depressing, no?

Posted by: Independent Woman | November 15, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse

With respect to money - It helps, but can be overcome. See Jim Webb.

With respect to the "power brokers in the Democratic Party" - The Democrats don't have power brokers similar to the Republican power brokers anymore. Ones who can annoint a Governor and make him President.

The Democrat's power brokers are the caucus attendees in Iowa and the voters in New Hampshire. They play a significant role in dertermining how things will play out. Even the Republican's power broker are subject to the vagaries of the electorate, such as happened with New Hampshire and Michigan voters throwing a wrench into the their script in 2000, but they were able to limit the effects of those states.

Enough money to pay for the shoe leather needed to campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire can set a campaign on a roll.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | November 15, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Tina: Flip-flop.

Sunday: Pres. Bush tells rallies "Voting for Democrats is voting for Terrorists"

Within two days of the election: "So nice to have you here in the White House Ms. Pelosi." "So nice to have you here in the White House Sen. Reid."

Should the headlines have read: "BUSH WELCOMES TERRORISTS TO WHITE HOUSE; And Pledges to Work With Them!"

Posted by: Nor'Easter | November 15, 2006 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Senator Margaret Chase Smith from Maine did win delegates by competing in the primary states to challenge Barry Goldwater. Now the reason you should remember his name is that Hillary worked as a Goldwater Girl in 1964. TALK ABOUT YOUR FLIP FLOP!!!!!!!!!!

Congresswoman Chisholm from New York had less than $500,000 but she made a huge impact in the 1972 race.

Condi is more than a woman, she is a foreign policy expert and has brought the UN into standing up to tyrants like in Iran and North Korea. She is Secretary of State, and right now is the most powerful woman in Washington DC. Whether Pelosi does well or not, it reflects more on women who are Democrats rather than women who are Republicans.

A poll was released today,
Rudy 28%
McCain 26%
Condi 13%
Newt 7%
Romney 5%

With Pataki dropping out, who will he help? He does not like Rudy since Rudy endorsed Cuomo for governor.

The WNBC/Marist poll shows
Rudy 23%
Condi 20%
McCain 15%

Someone also stated a Newsweek poll showing Condi at 24%. If that is true, why can{t CNN show it as long as they are promoting Hillary? Oh yes, that love Hillary at CNN.

Back in October the subject of Madame President came up on CNN and they did feature Condi and Hillary. They reported it twice but seem to have favored Hillary since the Democrats took power in Congress.
As long as the national polls keep Condi in the 2008 list, the people will continue to show their preference for Condi.
She is a 2nd amendment absolutist and that makes her more of an NRA favorite than Rudy with his gun-control agenda.

Posted by: Tina | November 15, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I want Hillary to STAY in the Senate. She's a damn good Senator and God knows we need people like her to stand up for the rest of us. She can do a far better job there than in the WI.

Posted by: Barbara | November 15, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I want Hillary to STAY in the Senate. She's a damn good Senator and God knows we need people like her to stand up for the rest of us. She can do a far better job there than in the WI.

Posted by: Barbara | November 15, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I want Hillary to STAY in the Senate. She's a damn good Senator and God knows we need people like her to stand up for the rest of us. She can do a far better job there than in the WI.

Posted by: Barbara | November 15, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I want Hillary to STAY in the Senate. She's a damn good Senator and God knows we need people like her to stand up for the rest of us. She can do a far better job there than in the WI.

Posted by: Barbara | November 15, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

On a woman as president: Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, R-Maine, ran in 1964 and was the first female major party candidate. Rep. Shirley Chisholm, D-NY, was the first Black female major party candidate for president in 1972. Sen. Clinton's prospects in 2008 probably are enhanced by the coming ascension of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker; a woman will be two heartbeats from the presidency. Americans know that India, Israel and Great Britain have been ruled by strong women, and we have some sense of being behind the times almost in embracing female leadership; we know we'll have a woman president eventually. Sen. Clinton is ideally positioned for 2008. Of course she would have a difficult fight after being demonized by the right wing for so long; but the right wing just got tromped in the election, and after 6-8 years of Bush 2 lunacy, the Bill Clinton era looks like nirvana. If Hillary runs it will be a fascinating race; if she taps Barack Obama as VP, they might prove unstoppable. Democrats across the land would be singing, "Happy Days Are Here Again!"

-- Josh Thomas

Posted by: joshtom | November 15, 2006 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Jon Corzine is one of the most unpopular governors in the United States.

His approval is at 41% with a net -13%. The only Dems with worse approval are IL (scandal), OR, and MI(economy) and he's tied with Blanco (LA) who is still getting blasted for Katrina.

Not likely but he's rich so never say never.

Posted by: RMill | November 15, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse


The first female candidate for US President was Victoria Claflin Woodhull, a newspaper publisher. She ran on the Equal Rights Party ticket in 1872. She became the first woman to address the US Congress.

Belva Ann Lockwood ran on the Equal Rights ticket in 1884 and 1888. She was the first woman to argue before the US Supreme Court.

The first woman to run on a major party ticket was US Senator Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME). She ran in 1964.

In 1972, Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm (D-TX) garnered 154 electoral votes and became the first woman to win a state primary (NJ). Also that year, democratic Congresswomen Patsy Mink (D-HI) and Bella Abzug (D-NY) also ran for President.

In 1984, Rep. Gerraldine Ferraro was the first woman to recieve the nomination for Vice President.

Elizabeth Dole ran briefly for Presidentin 2000, before becoming the US Senator from North Carolina and former ambassador and US Senator (D-IL) Carol Mosely Braun ran briefly in 2004.

Posted by: RMill | November 15, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

JimDinFl: Thanks for your info but I just have to disagree a little bit and the main reason for Fl. going her way is the elderly vote there and they will think long and hard about the price of drugs. Should the drug issue become a lesser issue then your point is well taken.

Posted by: lylepink | November 15, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

different than sam the man who just posted above, but still like to think that at least sometimes i am the man, and my friends do occasionally call me that...anyway...

i've been saying it (and being ignored) that jon corzine will be the democratic nominee. he's got the history, the resume, the vote against the war, the backbone, the ability to truly energy and enthuse the base, and crossover appeal for white men. most importantly, as iraq hopefully transitions in the next 2 years, the issue that really is going to be number 1 in everyone's minds is the economy. people are already pinched and worried about the economy, and it is only going to get worse for majority of americans in the next year and a half.

corzine is excellent on so many things, one of them being economics and growth in a progressive and liberal sense. he does all this with the principle of limited, accountable, transparent, and non-wasteful bureaucracy. basically he runs govt like a business.

he's under the radar which i think is a great advantage, but i think he will start to raise his profile. this is someone who in july 06 painfully cut spending by 2.1bn and raised taxes 1.9bn because the nj budget situation was so awful. he had to shut down the govt to get his budget passed, and politically, despite the pain in his budget, he came out as a winner and a leader who wasnt afraid to stand up for his beliefs. his approval rating shot up above 50% soon after the shutdown and since then he's creeped over 60%.

right now nj is working on cutting nj property taxes. all things look towards a successful outcome and if that's the case, he's a conquering hero and will be well over 70% approval rating (sounds like mike bloomberg doesn't it).

i think he'll raise his profile next year (he's got a great record on homeland security, addressing poverty, energy and the environment, and foreign relations). my guess and my hope is that by the end of next summer, he announces that he's running for pres. he'll be the real version of the ceo president instead of the fraud we've had for the last 6 years. given the economic situation, that's exactly what the country will want.

he'd be a great candidate as he is excellent one on one and very likeable. people love his story: farmer from small town illinois, college athlete, born leader and risk taker, accomplished in the private market and in politics, and yet somehow still very humble. very much a product of the american dream. also, he's not afraid of his speaking about his faith/religion and does it in a sincere and tolerant manner.

he fits the profile of the last two democratic presidents: liberal religious christian and has a strong base in the african american community.

he'll walk into iowa and talk about his experiences growing up on a farm. african americans in south carolina will love him. new hampshire voters will ride his momentum and want to say they picked the winner. then in nevada the latinos will give him their support.

i think this is necessary as mccain and/or romney (maybe huckabee on the ticket) would be formidable opponents. despite that i think corzine with either obama, warner, or schweitzer on his ticket would be unbeatable.

Posted by: sam | November 15, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton has ZERO chance of becoming President. To begin with, she is an old school elists Eastern liberal completely out of touch with the new Democrats. She is pro gun control and pro gobalization and pro Iraq, three positions that are insanely out of touch with the people who just voted the Democrats back into power. If she, or the DNC leadership, spent five lousy minutes talking with this new block of voters that voted them in they would realize that. But the idiots don't. We get Hillary and the other left wing extremist talking about the new "progressive" mandate and her bloated nightmare of a national health care program. Oh god! It's enough to turn your stomach.

Most American's are moderate. We are NOT progressives and view those who would describe themselves as such as being overly sensative twits. We are convinced that Iraq is a complete disaster and believe the best thing, the ONLY THING, we can do is pack up and get out. Of course, anyone sane knows we need a natioal health insurance program, but something simple like a required national HMO would be easy to do (perhaps, too easy?), cheap, and would accomplish the goal of poviding good health care for every American. We are sick and tired of corporations outsourcing jobs and technology and of allowing U.S. corporations to bring in "guest workers" who drive down wages and take jobs from American's. And, of course, we know the politcian;s can do something about it! They can add tarrif, damn high tarrifs, to goods and services that are produced by Amercian companies and re-imported into the U.S. And, we can force U.S. corporations to pay for the true cost of foreign workers - health care, education, social services, infrastructure, and displacement costs for any American worker loosing their job because the company saw fit to hire that guest worker.

All of this is just common sense. It's not only easy to do, it is the right thing to do and it's what we EXPECT the Democrats to do or they will find the reigns of government being a bit slippery and very brief. None of these the sort of things I can see Hillary or any of the "progressives" doing.

Posted by: MikeB | November 15, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

David: I like your endorsement of Biden (not so keen on Richardson), and I think this is the kind of "moderate" that might be able to get support from enough of the critical independent voters and Rs to win in November. More importantly, he has a plan on Iraq that has a chance to really take off now that he is Chair of Foreign Relations. If he sees some success from that in the next 2 years or (God forbid) we are still stuck in this mess by 11/08 and in need of a good foreign policy candidate, I can't imagine any Dems better positioned on this critical issue.

That being said, I also disagree with David's dismissal of Edwards. He's a personable guy with some good ideas, and his charisma is getting more polished. Last night on The Daily Show he got some laughs... Speaking of which, what did anybody think about his refusal to defend John Kerry against Jon Stewart's jokes?????

Posted by: GoBlue girl | November 15, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Can't we talk about something other than Hilary for a change?

Posted by: drindl | November 15, 2006 12:52 PM | Report abuse


I'm pretty darn sure that there will be a Republican President in the White House until the end of 2008. There is no way on God's greed Earth that Bush is going to nominate Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court. If a Democrat wins in 2008 then apparantly the danger zone with Hillary has already passed. It's hard to see her challenging an incumbent Democratic President in 2012. If a Republican wins in 2008 then he obviously won't be nominating Hillary Clinton to the Court.

Right now she is 59 years old. By the time the 2016 election rolls around Hillary Clinton will be just about 70 years old. I find it hard to believe that a Democratic President would hand out a Supreme Court nomination to Hillary Clinton in order to avoid having a 70 year old woman run for President in the distant future of 2016. That much time is a political eternity. It would be irrational for someone to try to project what the political landscape will be at that point and make such a momentous decision based on the theoretical possibility that conditions at that point might allow some old woman to run for President and lose. Presidents do not appoint justices to the court for the purpose of getting someone out of the way like that. It just doesn't happen and the timing in this case makes the very idea absurd.

If Hillary is going to be bought off with something it has to happen wthin the next year at the most. Harry Reid has mentioned several months ago that he doesn't want to remain party leader inthe Senate all the way through the end of 2007. He has discussed the possibility of stepping down from his post and supporting Hillary for Majority Leader. That is the only remotely plausible deal that could be offered to Hillary Clinton which would keep her from running for President if she was otherwise inclined to do so.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | November 15, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I have long maintained that Hillary Clinton is unelectable. Nothing would motivate the Republican base like Senator Clinton at the head of the Democratic ticket. I also think it would endanger most of the new Democratic Congresspeople from districts carried by Bush in 2004. She has very high negatives and has been demonized by the right wing media and made the subject of too many jokes from Leno, Letterman, etc. I know many people with a deep visceral dislike of the woman. Her public image is of an extreme liberal. She and Ted Kennedy were lumped together in Republican attack ads in Florida as the evil liberal twins. She would never carry Florida.

Posted by: JimD in FL | November 15, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Good analysis in National Journal:

'Who won the election for Democrats last week? Apportion a large measure of credit to the national environment and to Republican mistakes. Give the Democratic grassroots, who cultivated candidates, knocked on doors and raised money for people and causes ignored (at first) by the national party. Certainly, Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer deserve their accolades.

And then there's Howard Dean, the unorthodox, insurgent chairman of the Democratic Party. For more than a year, many of the party's familiarly named strategists, consultants and hangers-on have been convinced that Dean wanted to shape the national committee as a counterweight to the party committees. So if party committees get credit for the victory, Dean should get none, right?

Dean ran for chairman on a platform to devolve power and spending authority to state parties. Dean believed the national party committees were too closely aligned with - and therefore only serviced - the interests of the Washington establishment. He redirected the flow of money and responsibility outward to his patrons in states. He legitimized the grievances and complaints of the party's grassroots army, who had grown frustrated with their status as outsiders looking in. The RNC pioneered a ground-game first approach in 2004; Dean became the first Democratic chairman to validate the work of volunteer ground warriors.

Whether Dean was right, in the normative sense of the word, is irrelevant. He did what he did, and the consequences speak for themselves.

Three years ago, Howard Dean-style politics was too outré for the Democratic Party to bear. Today, arguably, Dean Politics is Democratic politics. Embedded within Dean's campaign theme was a broad critique of the Republican approach to power. Iraq was simply its worst manifestation. But Dean also evinced his distaste with Republican "corruption." He talked about how Democrats - and independents and even Republicans -- were interested in results, not ideology. In his eyes, Americans wanted a fresh approach. He urged, first Democrats, then Americans, to take their country back. He also urged the party to overlook interest group apostasy; remember that Dean got an "A" rating from the NRA as Vermont's governor.

Leave the Internet aside: the architecture of Dean Politics has become the de mode style for the entire party. Dean promoted a vocal, confrontational style of campaigning, one that did not cede an inch to Republicans. His primary campaign was predicated on a 50 state strategy. He urged Democrats to adopt issues that would drive wedges between the Republican base and the party's weaker adherents (mostly in the suburbs). He rejected the politics of inoculation, pronouncing himself proud to be the talisman of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. He intuited that the party (and voters) wanted the Democrats to be the opposition party.'

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Just came from Cillizza's discussion on the Wash Post daily site and he posted this:
Detroit, Mich.: Hi Chris,

Thanks for taking questions. I enjoyed your bit on the polling re: Hillary Clinton's potential presidency. Two quick questions: First of all, has she filed any papers for an exploratory committee or does she not even need to explore? Second: It seems going into this already the public opinion is fairly split and there are many negative beliefs about her personality though many people I've read/spoken to find her quite warm and charming in person. Is it possible to turn this view of her around within the election cycle? Will these views be her biggest challenge?

Chris Cillizza: Thanks. (In case people don't know what this questions refers to, make sure to check out the "Parsing the Polls" feature currently on The Fix.)

Sen. Clinton -- thanks to her universal name recognition and fundraising capacity -- need not play by the same rules as the other Democrats considering a run for president in 2008.

While other lesser-known candidates (Vilsack, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh) are likely to be up and running by the end of the year, Clinton can wait. There is no need for her to rush into this race since she will face an unprecedented level of scrutiny as soon as she makes her campaign official.

So, she will likely spend the rest of the year putting her political house in order and ensuring that all the i's have been dotted and t's crossed in expectation of a huge rollout in spring 2007.

This is entirely speculative on my part, I might add, as Clinton loyalists continue to be tight-lipped on a national bid.
Sam here and in my opinion, the high negatives for Hillary might convice her to consider accepting as VP. But then again, any man who would be president would have HER dragged into HER control with Billy Boy jumping on the guy's back. On second thought, I can{t think of any man who is a Democrat that would himself through Hillary Hell on his case day after day.

Big deal if she tied Rudy, with the strong conservative base voting in the primary system, I doubt he would win. How long does he get to capitalize on 9-11 and is that all he offers our nation? He is pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, and pro-gun control so the NRA would never put up with him. Come on, let{s be realistic a bit, and most men who are hunters or support the 2nd amendement are never going to support Rudy. Sorry.

Posted by: Sam the Man | November 15, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Bill Richardson also raised nearly $10 M for re-election in New Mexico.

Don't know what he has left (harder to get state info).

Posted by: RMill | November 15, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Isn't there a difference between the official announcement and the forming of an exploratory commitee?
When did Bill Clinton formed this?

Posted by: Kavalor | November 15, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Some thoughts about how Hillary will win. La. and Florida better than 50/50 JimD could speak better about Fl. Ohio should break for the dems. I havent calculated the EC counts but I do believe we have a winner in Hillary.

Posted by: lylepink | November 15, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

John Tyler served in the Confederate House of Representatives after having been President.

Posted by: JimD in FL | November 15, 2006 12:24 PM | Report abuse


I understand that Clark made a pledge but that does not make the numbers misleading. He is $11-19 M dollars behind the top tier hopefuls.

If you don't have it, you can;t spread it around.

Other candidates have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to candidates in state all across the country. It might be nice to get a speech and endorsement but money counts in politics. Sorry but it is true.

I would like to know what the hell John Edwards has done with the year. I know he campaigned heavily for "issues" like minimum wage but he is broke. I don't think he can expect the labor unions he is courting to carry him too far. John, get to work if you are serious!

Posted by: RMill | November 15, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't question Hillary's abilities. But even if the fact that she's female has no impact, she has two major hurdles.

First, she STARTS the campaign with 48% of the electorate against her. That's before the first ad goes up.

Second, even people who would be inclined to support her will think twice about having 4 to 8 more years with ANOTHER President named Bush or Clinton.

Can't people search outside just a few families when we look for our leaders? Among other things, one might actually find (gasp!) somebody who has actually worked in the real world for a living.

Posted by: j | November 15, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

'What a group of tax spending, big government Washington insiders. Are we a bunch of spineless, mind numb robots being lead to the great socialistic society at taxpayers' expense on the backs of workers? '

This kind of illiterate, brainwashed voter is why we have a moron in the white house...

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I'm disappointed that the Publicans didn't elect Michael "came up just short" Steele to be Minority Whip. I know, he's not actually a Senator, but those commercials of his were so totally awesome.

How's that GOP outreach to African Americans going that you keep hyping? Quite the strategy they have here.

Posted by: subpoena power | November 15, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Bill CLinton's announcemnet in Little Rock took place on October 3, 1991, 13 months before the General election.

He all but announced in a speech given in May 1991 in Cleveland, OH at the National Convention of the Democratic Leadership Council, which he chaired that year.

Posted by: RMill | November 15, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse


I am the first to say Texas is an oddity in the real world - no defesne of Texas here - but there is a mood in the country about Hillary - I think it will all come down to how well Pelosi rules - if she ends of ruling from the left the effect right or wrong will kill Hillary's chances.

I do believe if Pelosi rules by consensus Hilly's chances will climb substantially

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

off to family reunion on South Padre -

Posted by: Bobby WIghtman-Cervantes | November 15, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Hilary wouldn't be the first woman to run for president -- Shirley Chisolm was the first (if there were some woman who came before her, I'd love to be enlightened) in the 70s (I think it was during that decade). Ms. Chisolm died a few years back, and I recall her fondly.

As for Hilary, I will admit to some mixed feelings about her. She's very smart and perhaps under other circumstances, she'd be considered eminently capable of handling the job -- particularly as compared with the "little boy" at the helm right now. But that she evokes such visceral feelings among many in the electorate ought to give her pause. I'd really hate to hand the job over to another Republican, at least on that basis alone.

Posted by: sooze | November 15, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Bobby, this isn't 1960. Dems don't need to win Texas to win the White House. I think Hillary could win a general. If for no other reason than she's going to have the Clinton inner circle running her campaign. My concern would be losing the House. In those culuturally conservative districts, she'll be a noose around the neck of Dem candidates.

Off topic, Trent Lott is the new Minority Whip.

Posted by: Zach | November 15, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Presidents Post-Presidency

John Q. Adams did go to Congress from 1830-1848. He died on the House floor giving a speech.

Andrew Johnson was elected to the US Senate in 1875 but died in office shortly after.

William Taft was appointed Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court until 1930 just before his death.

Grover Cleveland ran for President and won in 1892 after losing re-election in 1888.

Martin Van Buren ran for President as a Free Soil candidate in 1848 and lost.

Millard Filmore ran for President as a Know Nothing candidate in 1856 after Whigs did not renominate him in 1852. He lost.

Teddy Roosevelt ran for President as a Bull Moose in 1912 after declining to run for re-election in 1908. He lost.

Herbert Hoover was appointed to chair Executive Department Reorganization Commissions by Presidents Truman and Eisenhower.

Posted by: RMill | November 15, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton formally announced his presidential candidacy, on the steps of the state capitol in Little Rock, during the summer of 1991 -- about 16 or 17 months before the 1992 general election. Expect HRC to announce formally during the summer of 2007 (about 16-17 months before the 2008 election). Where will the announcement take place? I have no idea, but I imagine she and her people are considering options if they have not already planned it. Anyway, by then, it will already be very clear to everyone that she is running.

Posted by: Progressive | November 15, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

As to Clark's money issue - the numbers are misleading - Clark made it clear he would not raise money for the WH until after the elections - my check is ready the second he announces.

Technically I said Congress not the Senate - but technically the Congress consists of both the HOuse and Senate - so eh - I fell into the trap of using the term Congress - such as CNN and everyone else in the newsmedia - to refer to the House

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

technically did Bush I do anything as an ex president until asked to work on the Katrina issue by Bush II

Posted by: Bobby WIghtman-Cervantes | November 15, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Bobby is not (quite) correct about Adams. John Adams never served in the Senate, other than as VPOTUS. He returned to farming after the Presidency. John Q Adams served in both the House and Senate before becoming President and returned to the House, but not Senate afterwards. I believe the only former President to return to the Senate was Andrew Johnson. What Bill Clinton has in common with him already is that they are the only Presidents to be impeached. While WJC cannot return to a body in which he has never served, he could be elected to Senate in his post-Presidency.

Quentin Langley
Editor of

Posted by: Quentin Langley | November 15, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

With respect to Hillary experience to be nominated to the Supreme Court, weren't there three Justices who didn't even have law degrees? Also, it is my understanding that one of the current Justices had less than 2 years' judicial experience as federal appellate court judge before his immediate appointment to the Court.

Posted by: vl | November 15, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone noticed the Republican Senator's have selected Trent Lott for upcoming Minority Whip, beating Lamar Alexander by 1 vote?

Guess they didn't have enough bigotry leading the party after Mehlmen left.

Posted by: BlueDog | November 15, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The pundits love this speculation as do most of us. The thing to keep in mind she will have the best political mind in the country, Bubba, in her corner. That in its self is a very good reason for me to think these polls are off more than most of the folks I have talked with feel about the chance of Hillary running and if she does choose to run she will win. I strongly support her no matter what her choice is.

Posted by: lylepink | November 15, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse


It's not so much American history that keeps a President from going back to Congress, it's more American culture. Besides being a "step down" (that's questionable) most Americans like the idea of a President being an "Elder Statesman", no longer tightly bound by campaign politics. It gives them the opportunity to be emmisaries, diplomats, problem solvers, etc. Carter, Bush 41, & Clinton have all embraced that role. I think many American's think that going back to Congress would make an ex-Pres look desparate. Americans tend to want their President's to be "Presidential", even after they're out of office.

As for Hillary, the Gallup poll is useful only to her, as it tells her what some folks are expecting, and I doubt she'll want to dissapoint them. The fact that only NY's were asked let's her know how things will play out at home should she run and fail. Outside of that, the poll serves no purpose. Wonder who requested/paid for the poll?

Posted by: BlueDog | November 15, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

News flash to NY: Hillary has a snowball's chance in you-know-where of winning the general election.

As someone who actually likes her and thinks she's an effective Senator for her state, I think she remains to polarizing a figure for the general population. She's the punchline to every conservative joke.

She could take positions to the right of Orrin Hatch and, as far as the flyover-WSJ alliance are concerned, still be painted as a liberal who (God forbid!) actually tried to get health care for EVERYONE! What a loser!!/snark

No--we actually need someone who can take a state or two that's not on the coast.

Posted by: vl | November 15, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

What a group of tax spending, big government Washington insiders. Are we a bunch of spineless, mind numb robots being lead to the great socialistic society at taxpayers' expense on the backs of workers? What is the difference between any of them? Oh, one is a women.

Posted by: Yuma, AZ | November 15, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Fund Raising
Kerry $140K on hand US Senate acct., $570K in PAC; $18.8 M in Presidential acct.
Spent- $126K to cnadidates

Clinton $13.949 M on hand US Senate acct., $155K in PAC
TOTAL- $14.1M
Spent- $2.955 M
$2.3 M to DSCC; $655 K to candidates

Bayh $10.578 M on hand US Senate acct; $601K in PAC
TOTAL- $11.179 M
Spent- $129 K to candidates

Biden $3.293M on hand US Senate acct., $238 K in PAC
TOTAL- $3.521M
Spent- $117 K to candidates

Obama $756 K on hand US Senate acct., $1.040 M in PAC
TOTAL- $1.796M
Spent- $1.052M to candidate
$41,700 to DSCC and another $57,500 K to state Dem parties

Clark- $49 K in PAC; spent $7K on candidates

Edwards- $2K in PAC
No spending to candidates

Posted by: RMill | November 15, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Adams returned to Congress after the white house

Taft also moved on to the SUpremes after the WH

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I read somewhere that she might be balancing a Presidential bid against a long-term leadership role in the Senate, which made me wonder: have any former Presidents served in Congress after serving as President? Any thoughts out there as to why that doesn't seem to be something anyone considers? While Congress might be considered a step down in prestige, if you can't serve your country as President again, why not serve in Congress? Or am I just showing my weakness in American History?

Posted by: The Cosmic Avenger | November 15, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I do have to say that a Hillary presidency would be the icing on the cake. Can you just picture it. Bill and Hillary saying goodbye to the Bushies ...opps..this could be an RNC ad come 2008.

Other candidates:

Obama - If he runs, the Southern and Mountain states will be 60/40 Repub or greater. Americans are not ready to elect an African American prez. And it will be even tougher to hold the light blue states with him running. I hope I am wrong.

Gore - I am beginning to warm up to him. Clean shaven, he might be a good choice since we had 8 yrs to forget his baggage.

Edwards - What a hillbilly. I have never been impressed by this guy.

Kerry - He has been hit by the bus too many times.

Clark - No charisma. And yes, charisma still counts these days.

Biden/Richardson - These are the men. The liberal stigma doesn't work for them. I seriously think they can deliver some Mountain/Southwest states, Ohio and still win Kerry's states except for NH. If McCain or Giuliani run, PA and maybe even some other light blue states will be in play for them.

Posted by: David | November 15, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Jackson - I agree with you about your concerns of Hillary on the Supremes - but dude are you shocked to find that politics is absurd?

Once the power brokers in the Dem Party realize she will cost them the election their only choice is to but her off - and give her track record with Bill she is clearly willing to be bought if she believes she will get something good out of it.

Bobby Wightman-Cernvates

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Emboldened by mid-term pick ups and the ascension of Nancy Pelosi to Speaker of the House, Hillary Rodham Clinton will run for President.

As in other discussions on this topic, I am reminded that the Clinton's both have been influenced by a strong sense of "historical" opportunities. Becoming the first woman nominee for President and becoming the first woman president are too much for Sen. Clinton to pass up on.

While not her only reasoning, it is clear to me that this will be one of the deciding factors in driving her forward into the race.

The fact that she can raise $50 M, not suspect or infer that she might be able to like others on the potentials list only strengthens this resolve. While the playing field in terms of money is evened out at the moment, as soon as she decides, the money will flood in.

Posted by: RMill | November 15, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

How is this information even remotely useful? Anyone would have expected that Hillary Clinton would have strong support in her home state. Whether people in NY think she will run reflects only the intense speculation that the media has directed towards her.

Somehow, I have a pretty hard time believing that New York means anything whatsoever in terms of who wins either the primary or the general election.

Here in Virginia, there are plenty of Democrats who would sooner stay home on election day than turn out to vote for Hillary Clinton. Which is neither here nor there but I'm just saying.


Why in God's name would we want to put Hillary Clinton on the Supreme Court? She hasn't even practiced law in ages, let alone been a judge. She has no qualifications for the job of any kind except a law degree. No judicial philosophy or track record of any kind of judicial issues. The very suggestion is completely absurd.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | November 15, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse


CNN Presidential Match up Polling done on 10/13-15

John McCain 48%
Hillary Clinton 47%

John McCain 44%
Hillary Rodham Clinton 51%

Her numbers went up just by adding her middle name to the question.

Newsweek 11/9-10

Apparently the only person with a worse chance in running for President than John Kerry (55% No chance I will support) is Newt Ginrich (58% No chance).

With a good chance or some chance of support, McCain and Giuliani have 54% and HRC has 53% but Hillary had the highest Good Chance of Support at 33%.

Condi Rice had the highest Good chance of support 24% tied with Giuliani and had 51% overall.

Obama had 39% with 34% Never Heard of.

For Democratic Nomination
CNN 10/27-29 compared with 8/30-9/2
Clinton 28%/38% down 10%
Obama 17%/na
Gore 13%/19% down 6%
"Add Gore and Clinton losses and there's Obama's support"
Edwards 13%/12%
Kerry 12%/9%
"I guess there is no such thing as bad publicity"
Everyone else at 1 or 2%

Republican Nomination
Giuliani 29%/32% down 3%
McCain 27%/21% up 6%
Gingrich 12%/12% no change
ROmney 7%/6% up 1%
"So much for the 4 state strategy"
Frist 6%/4% up 2%
Pataki 5%/3% up 2%
Allen 2%/7% down 5%
Brownback 1%/1% no change

Posted by: RMill | November 15, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Analyzing Clinton's prospects in a NY poll is kind of like asking the residents of the Vatican if they like Pope Benedict- what a silly silly poll

Here in Texas I have never met anyone who will support her (I'm sure they exist)- it is not a female thing it is a Hillary thing

I believe Clark will be smart enough to choose one of the more eminently qualified female Dems as his running mate.

I suspect that the party will come to the realization that Hillary cannot win at the national level and offer her a Supreme Court position assuming the Dems win the WH and maintain control of the Senate

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | November 15, 2006 10:26 AM | Report abuse

CC, hope you start feeling better.
I think the 20 percent is right that Hillary won't run. However, I have no idea when she will announce that she isn't running. The longer she drags the announcement out the less attention everyone will give to the people who are running. Now some would say this is a bad thing but in my eyes it keeps the MSM and extreme lefties from focusing too much on one person and burning them out, or getting tired of them. Not to mention they can slowly raise money and not draw the watchful eye of the GOP. My prediction as of right now is that Wes Clark will run with the understanding that he can use the Clinton machine for his benefit. With an understanding that a Clark/Clinton ticket would be expected.

Rmill, so which polling firm came up on top for the midterms? I read your overview but I couldn't gather who you thought did the best job.

Posted by: Andy R | November 15, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I am a New Yorker who has never been thrilled with the idea of a Clinton candidacy, and I had previously been a strong supporter of her husband.

However, in light of the news that Sen. Feingold has chosen not to run, and the fact that we now have majority status, I am going to start from zero and give all the candidates a fresh look.

On a side note...what is up with Senate Democrats giving a standing ovation to Lieberman on Tuesday after his patronizing comments on "Meet The Press" on Sunday?

And why did very few outlets even cover it?

I have the details on it at

Posted by: scootmandubious | November 15, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I am not sure exactly what the value of asking voters "when will Hillary announce" is?

I will be looking to see if Dem candidates get any midterm bounce in hypothetical matchups.

Posted by: RMill | November 15, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse

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