Hillary no longer invincible
This is not to suggest that she is done. However, she once had this aura of invincibility, and that aura is gone. From Donald Lambro:
Hillary Clinton's negatives keep climbing, raising new questions about her electability and improving the prospects of her chief rivals for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
The New York senator's favorability ratings took a nosedive in mid-April, dropping from 58 percent in February to 45 percent, according to latest Gallup Poll. It was her lowest favorability score since 1993.
A 52 percent majority of the voters now say they have a negative view of her candidacy. That compares to her closest rival, Sen. Barack Obama, who was rated favorably by 52 to 27 percent.
Clinton still held on to her front-runner status in most polls last week, but pollsters and political analysts tell me she is losing the support of strategic blocs in her party's base, including women, liberals and independents, who feel she has waffled on withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.
"The recent decline in her image appears to be broad based" among most key voter subgroups, Gallup said.
Even more troubling for her campaign, the Gallup poll of registered voters (taken April 13 to April 15) also showed Clinton losing her double-digit lead over Obama, who now trails her by a slim 5 percentage points in the survey (31 percent to 26 percent). In other polls, the two are virtually tied.
Veteran campaign pollsters, and many Democratic strategists, shocked by her weak numbers, no longer consider her the unbeatable front-runner.
"It's still early in the campaign and it's hard to bet against a Clinton, they're winners. However, the inevitability factor (in her candidacy) is no longer there," independent (sic) pollster John Zogby told me.
"Hillary isn't wearing well. It seems as if the more people see her, the less they like her," former Bill Clinton campaign adviser Dick Morris wrote at the Townhall Web site. (Maybe because she's a cold, calculating, phony, aloof, Marxist bitch? - Ed.)
"Now for the first time, her low likeability levels are costing her votes, as Democratic-party voters are abandoning her to support Barack Obama," Morris said. "She is losing her base."
Obviously, polls at this stage are meaningless. Kerry (who is rumored to have served in Vietnam) wasn't the frontrunner in any polls until the weekend before the Iowa caucus in 2004, while Dean was virtually considered a lock. Didn't happen that way. So while I wouldn't read this as a sign that Hillary's going to lose, it certainly shows that she's not a shoo-in at this juncture.