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Clinton, Romney lead pack in 'level of core opposition'

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 12/22/2007 @ 8:15 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled

Despite what they do to garner support, Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Gov. Mitt Romney each have 47 percent of voters who say they would vote against the two candidates, regardless of whom their opponent might be, according to a new Rasmussen poll.

The pair lead the pack among leading presidential contenders for “core opposition” by voters in the 2008 contest.

Sen. John McCain, for the second straight month, has the smallest percentage of voters – 33 percent – saying they would definitely vote against him.

Forty-two percent of voters say they would vote against Giuliani, 38% against Edwards, 36% against Obama, 34% against Huckabee and 34% against Thompson.

Reflecting the polarization surrounding her candidacy, Clinton also leads in “core support” – those voters who would definitely give her their vote. Her 30 percent is closely followed by Obama’s 29 percent.

Edwards and Giuliani are tied with core support from 23 percent of voters. McCain, who has the fewest core opponents, has 22 percent core support, and Thompson and Huckabee have 21 percent. Romney, who leads the GOP candidates with the greatest level of core opposition, has the weakest level of core support – 19 percent – just a little more than a week before the Iowa caucuses.

On a net basis – core support minus core opposition – Obama and McCain lead their parties at -7 percent and -11 percent, respectively. Giuliani at -19 percent and Romney at -28 percent are currently in the weakest positions.

size="4" color="#FFFFFF">Core Favorability/Opposition – All Voters

Candidate % Def. FOR % Def. AGAINST Net
Obama 29 36 -7
McCain 22 33 -11
Huckabee 21 34 -13
Thompson 21 34 -13
Edwards 23 38 -15
Clinton 30 47 -17
Giuliani 23 42 -19
Romney 19 47 -28
Paul 10 48 -38
Bloomberg 5 49 -44

Rasmussen also polled voter sentiment for Ron Paul and Michael Bloomberg, whose numbers were even worse than the top tier candidates.

While Paul has 10 percent of voters who would definitely vote for him, his core opposition is 48 percent. Billionaire Bloomberg, who has suggested a self-funded campaign, only has 5 percent core support. Forty-nine percent of voters say they definitely wouldn’t vote for him.

In November, both parties will be actively seeking support from unaffiliated voters, but it could be a hard sell if Democrats nominate Clinton or Republicans nominate Giuliani. Clinton has the highest level of core opposition among that coveted voting pool – 48 percent – and Giuliani is not far behind – 44 percent.

Again, McCain has the fewest enemies among the electorate, with only 26 percent determined to vote against him.

face="Arial" size="4" color="#FFFFFF">Core Favorability/Opposition –
Unaffiliated Voters

Candidate % Def.
FOR
% Def.
AGAINST
Net
McCain 20 26 -6
Obama 22 31 -9
Edwards 20 31 -11
Thompson 18 31 -13
Huckabee 16 34 -18
Romney 18 38 -20
Giuliani 18 44 -26
Clinton 22 48 -26
Paul 14 43 -29
Bloomberg 5 42 -34

Among unaffiliated voters, McCain and Obama have the best net score, -6 percent and -11 percent, respectively. And, as with the pool of all voters, Clinton, at -26 percent, and Romney, at -20 percent, are weakest among unaffiliated voters.

If, as some analysts say, the nominees for both parties will be known by February or March, voters will have over six months to weigh the finalists’ positives and negatives.


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