HRC by the Numbers

Aug 26, 2008 12:35pm

Here's a summary of data points past and present we've put on hand for our coverage of Hillary Clinton's speech tonight:

-Seven in 10 Democrats (including Democratic leaning-independents) who preferred Clinton for the nomination have lined up behind Obama – but that leaves three in 10 for McCain, or undecided.

-Fewer former Clinton supporters, 43 percent, say they’ll definitely support Obama; though fewer still, 12 percent, are definitely for McCain. A net of 45 percent are what we call movable voters, which is more than the level of movables overall, 27 percent.

-Clinton’s favorable rating – the most basic measure of a public figure’s popularity – is 52 percent among all registered voters, compared with Obama’s 62 percent (and McCain’s 59). Clinton is comparatively weak in the center: Compared with Obama, she’s seen favorably by 18 points fewer independents and 15 points fewer moderates.

-Clinton and Obama both are broadly popular among Democrats alone (excluding independents), with 78 and 83 percent favorability. But 61 percent of Democrats have a “strongly” favorable view of Obama, better than Clinton’s 48 percent.

-Clinton’s favorable rating has recovered from 44 percent in mid-April during the primaries. In that poll 54 percent saw her unfavorably, a record high. Her favorability peaked at 64 percent in 1998 during the Lewinsky scandal.

-In an ABC/Post poll last December, before the primaries, 52 percent of leaned Democrats preferred Clinton for the nomination, vs. 23 percent for Obama. A month later, after Iowa and New Hampshire, she’d dropped to 41 percent support nationally, and Obama jumped to 39 percent. In our latest poll, 42 percent of leaned Democrats said they would have preferred Clinton for the nomination, vs. 55 percent for Obama.

-Across the Democratic primaries, per our exit polls. (Note, this excludes the caucuses, except Iowa and Nevada):
          Clinton won women by 52-43 percent. (Obama won men by 50-43 percent.)
          Clinton won whites by 55-39 percent and Hispanics by 61-35 percent.
          Clinton won seniors by 59-34 percent. (Obama won under-30s by 58-38.)
          Clinton won whites who lack a college degree by 62-31 percent. (College-educated whites split 48-47 percent.)
          Clinton won voters who cited the economy as their top issue by 51-44 percent; it was the top issue by a wide margin.
          Clinton won Democratic voters focused mainly on experience by 91-6 percent. But Obama won those who cared most about the candidate who can best “bring needed change,” by 68-29 percent, and change was the top attribute by a wide margin.
          (Note, as I mentioned yesterday – primary vote is not necessarily indicative of general election vote – different electorate, different dynamic.)

-Among Clinton’s image problems: Last April, in the midst of the primaries, 58 percent of Americans did not see her as honest and trustworthy.

-In a poll we did in June, 46 percent of leaned Democrats named her as their preference for vice president. At the same time, among all Americans, essentially as many said having her on the ticket would make them more likely to vote for McCain (22 percent) as for Obama (23 percent). The rest said it wouldn't make a difference.

-Click here for a chart of Clinton’s career favorability, 1992 to present – plenty of ups and downs.

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