Monday, August 07, 2006

Early Whispers

The Boston Herald has a story on soft support for Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Dick Bennett has been polling New Hampshire voters for 30 years. And he’s never seen anything like it.

Bennett runs American Research Group Inc., a highly regarded, independent polling company based in Manchester, N.H. He’s been conducting voter surveys there since 1976. The polls are financed by subscribers and corporate sponsors.

And Hillary isn't going to like what he has seen.

“Lying b**** . . . shrew . . . Machiavellian . . . evil, power-mad witch . . . the ultimate self-serving politician.”
Sounds like these are some pretty perceptive Red State people.

But they're not Red Staters.

These were ordinary, grass-roots Democrats. People who identified themselves as "likely” voters in the pivotal state’s Democratic primary. And, behind closed doors, this is what nearly half of them are saying.
I was surprised to read this myself. I don't think I have ever heard mention of animus such as this amoung Democratic voters. Nearly half??

This has got to worry the Hillary handlers, if they're even listening.

“I was amazed,” says Bennett. “I thought there might be some negatives, but I didn’t know it would be as strong as this. It’s stunning, the similarities between the Republicans and the Democrats, the comments they have about her.”

There is a common element, a single thread running behind this; it appears to be a visceral distrust of the woman. A well deserved distrust.

Hillary’s growing brain trust in the party’s upper reaches already knows she has high “negatives” among ordinary Democrats. They think she can win those voters over with the right strategy and message.

They're whistling past the cemetary. It is not a matter of strategy. If anything, her message since 1992 has been entirely consistent, she and her husband are opportunists who cannot be trusted.

Because we’re not talking about “soft” negatives like, say, “out of touch” or “arrogant.”

We’re talking: “Criminal . . . megalomaniac . . . fraud . . . dangerous . . . devil incarnate . . . satanic . . . power freak.”

Maybe the whitewash that the MSM has been slathering all over the Clintons needs a fresh coat. Or maybe whitewash just isn't going to do the job any longer.

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, agrees. “There is far more anti-Hillary sentiment in the Democratic Party than the pollsters understand,” he says.

Fasten your seatbelts, the next Presidential election cycle might get a little bumpy while the Democrats are switching drivers.

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