Electability

Back to the 2008 theme (I've got a couple more thoughts on the State of the Union I hope to get around to), one knock against Hillary is that she cannot win in the general election.  I used to believe that myself, but am not so sure anymore.  Partly because the Republican party is imploding under the weight of its bad policies, especially Iraq.  Perhaps more importantly, if polls like this keep showing up,

The new poll finds statistical dead heats in different scenarios
involving John McCain or Rudy Giuliani vs. Hillary Clinton, Barack
Obama or John Edwards. In a hypothetical match-up, Clinton gets 48
percent while McCain gets 47. A Giuliani-Clinton race finds the same
numbers but with the former New York City mayor as the hypothetical
victor.

The public, especially Democrats will actually believe Hillary can win, and I think this is, to a considerable degree, a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If average Democrats and media elites are convinced Hillary cannot win, then she really can't.  But if people, especially the beltway elites, look at enough polls like these, the electability knock against Hillary will have to disappear. 

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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