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Clinton: Hillary's poll problems

A new Washington Post/ABC poll shows lots of problems for Clinton. "Democrats by a 2-1 margin, 62-31 percent, now see Obama as better able to win in November -- a dramatic turn from February, when Clinton held a scant 5-point edge on this measure, and more so from last fall, when she crushed her opponents on electability. The poll finds other pronounced problems for Clinton. Among all Americans, 58 percent now say she's not honest and not trustworthy, 16 points higher than in a precampaign poll two years ago. Obama beats her head-to-head on this attribute by a 23-point margin. The number of Americans who see Clinton unfavorably overall has risen to a record high in ABC/Post polling, 54 percent -- up 14 points since January. Obama's unfavorable score has reached a new high as well, up 9 points, but to a lower 39 percent."

More: "As things stand, this poll suggests a close general election contest. Obama has a scant 5-point advantage over McCain, 49-44 percent, compared with a 52-40 percent race last month. McCain and Clinton stand at 48-45 percent; it was a Clinton advantage, 50-44 percent, last month."

The Washington Post's headline for the poll: "Democrats Willing to Let Battle Continue." From the article: "While Clinton retains a big edge over Obama on experience, public impressions of her have taken a sharply negative turn. Today, more Americans have an unfavorable view of her than at any time since The Post and ABC began asking the question, in 1992. Impressions of her husband, former president Bill Clinton, also have grown negative by a small margin."

Meanwhile, a new set of state polls from the L.A. Times/Bloomberg in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana, also have bad news for Clinton -- as Obama leads in two of the three states (IN and NC), while Clinton's lead in PA is only five points. "In all three states, Clinton was seen as better-equipped to handle trade and healthcare policy. But she does not appear to have been as persuasive in making a core argument of her campaign: that she would be better-prepared to lead the nation's military and foreign policy. Asked who would be better as commander in chief, voters in North Carolina chose Obama, 45% to 28%; in Indiana, Obama was chosen 37% to 29%. Only in Pennsylvania did voters prefer Clinton as commander in chief, 44% to 39%."

"There are some ominous signs that the party will not easily unify after a long and contentious primary fight. Fully 30% of Clinton supporters in North Carolina said they would switch to McCain if Obama was the nominee (only 14% of Obama backers would defect if Clinton was the nominee)."

This New York Times story doesn't help the drop-out rumors: 

Per NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli, Bill Clinton raised the "bitter" controversy while campaigning yesterday in Pennsylvania – but only while defending his record as president. "In all of this back-and-forth between Hillary and her opponent over who said what about how small town Pennsylvanians feel, what was really overlooked is the other part of her opponents' answer -- which basically said, 'You were overlooked in the Bush presidency, and you were overlooked when I was president,'" he said. "They have repeatedly said there was no difference in the two. So if you believe that, you should probably vote for him. But if you want to know the facts, I think it's worth looking at. I can understand, especially for young people who may not remember."

Indeed, it was classic Bill. Here's the Boston Globe: "Older voters gravitate to Hillary Clinton because they're too wise to be fooled by Barack Obama's rhetoric, former president Bill Clinton told Pennsylvania voters yesterday." "'I think there is a big reason there's an age difference in a lot of these polls,' he said. 'Because once you've reached a certain age, you won't sit there and listen to somebody tell you there's really no difference between what happened in the Bush years and the Clinton years; that there's not much difference in how small-town Pennsylvania fared when I was president and in this decade.'"
"'So I think it's important that we get to the truth of this,' Clinton continued, going on to compare his and Bush's record on jobs, family incomes, and other measures."

"Clinton has long admitted to bungling universal health care in 1994, but a never-before-seen note she penned to the late Sen. Daniel Moynihan reveals how deeply she thought the failure hurt her -- and the nation. 'If I had listened to you about health care in 1994, I would be far better off today -- but more importantly -- so would the nation's health care system,' Clinton wrote Moynihan in October 2000, near the end of her New York Senate campaign to succeed the retiring Moynihan." The late Moynihan had his own compromise plan, but the Clintons refused to accept anything less than full coverage. Moynihan's widow is backing Obama.