One of the biggest misperceptions out there is that Hillary Clinton is an unstoppable juggernaut who will run roughshod over any candidate that the GOP puts up in 2008.
Does that mean she's a guaranteed loser? No, not at all. The country is closely divided and 2008 will likely be a tough environment for the GOP, so if you had to bet on a winner, the edge would have to go to the Democrats right now. That being said, Hillary is a weak candidate and almost any set of numbers you look at with regard to her candidacy seems to confirm it.
For example, in late June of this year, A Mason-Dixon poll showed that 52% of Americans and 60% of independents wouldn't consider voting for Hillary. Meanwhile, in that same poll, her disapproval rating was 42%, the highest of all the candidates, and her approval rating was only 39%.
These numbers would be bad news for any candidate, but they're particularly devastating for Hillary because the voters know her so well. Americans watched her in the White House for eight years and they've had a chance to look over her work as a high-profile Senator. Their conclusion? Hillary Clinton doesn't have what they want in a President.
Another dangerous indicator for Hillary is her mediocre numbers in match-ups against Republican candidates. Keep in mind that George Bush's poll numbers are incredibly low right now, Americans are extremely unhappy with how Iraq is going, the Republican base is demoralized, and GOP fund raising is terrible. In other words, if you're a Democrat, the field can't tilt much farther in your favor over a Republican than it does right now.
Yet, if you look at the latest numbers from Rasmussen polling, in head to head match-ups, Clinton only ties with Fred Thompson at 45%. Additionally, she barely beats Rudy Giuliani 44% to 43%, defeats Romney 46% to 42%, and crushes John McCain 47% to 38%. In other words, Clinton is essentially tied with the two GOP front-runners even though the political environment is almost as favorable as it can get for her.
So, what happens if the American people become even more disenchanted with the Democratic Party, which has done a disastrous job since it took over Congress in 2006? What if the surge continues to work and Bush pulls 50,000 troops out of Iraq because they're no longer needed? What if Bush's frighteningly low approval numbers, which almost can't go down much further, rebound? In other words, it may be as good as it's ever going to get for Hillary right now. Moreover, you've got to ask if Hillary is the right candidate, at the right time, in the right place for the political climate we have in America right now.