Thursday, March 31, 2011
Hillary Is Popular - Teabaggers Are Not
But those days are long gone, and today Hillary Clinton is probably the most popular politician in this country. A recent Gallup Poll taken March 25th through 27th of 1,027 adults shows Clinton with a favorability rating now of 66%, with an unfavorability rating of only 31%. That gives her a +35 rating -- very nice!
Those are even better numbers than President Obama has, and his aren't bad. Obama has a favorability rating of 54%/43% (+11). In fact 45% of those who give Obama's job performance an unfavorable rating give Hillary a favorable rating.
Of course numbers this good has some people thinking Hillary should make another run for the presidency. She has already said she wouldn't run against the president in 2012, and that's a wise decision since such a run could only hurt the party (and being a good Democrat, Hillary would never do that). But 2016 is wide open and she would have to be the Democratic Party favorite -- at least for now.
The only fly-in-the-ointment is the fact that sitting Secretary's of State don't historically do well when they run for president. The last one to win was James Buchanan in 1856. Maybe that's why she's said she doesn't want another term as Secretary of State, and if Obama's re-elected he'll have to find someone else to do the job. That's kind of a shame since I think she's done a very good job in the position. But if it gives her the time to position herself for a presidential run in 2016, then it's a good thing.
I did not support Hillary Clinton in 2008. I jumped on the Obama bandwagon fairly early. But I like Hillary a lot, and if she decides to run in 2016 she will most likely have my support.
But while Hillary's popularity has been rising, the popularity of the teabagger "movement" has not. I wrote recently about the teabaggers throwing a convention in Florida where only 300 people showed up instead of the thousands that were expected. Now a CNN/Opinion Research poll (taken March 11th through 13th of 1,023 adults) shows that the group's popularity has dropped significantly.
The poll shows that the favorability rating for the teabaggers has dropped a full 5 points just since December. It now stands at 32%. Meanwhile the people who have an unfavorable view of the teabaggers has climbed sharply, and currently stands at 47% (giving them a rating of -15). That's up 4 points since December, and up about 21 points since January 2010. It's the highest negative rating they've had, and it rivals the unfavorable ratings of both political parties now (but the political parties have much higher favorability ratings). Here are the numbers:
The rise in the teabaggers unfavorable rating seems to be most pronounced among the half of Americans that make less than $50,000 a year. The unfavorability number has risen about 15 points among this group just since October. It has risen only 5% among those making over $50,000 a year.
It looks like the draconian cuts the teabagger politicians are trying to make is starting to worry the under $50,000 group. The general idea of cutting the budget sounded good in the general election campaign, but now the reality of just what the teabagger Republicans want to cut is starting to scare them -- and it should. The teabagger Republicans want to make all their cuts in programs that mostly affect those making less money in this society, while giving the rich tax cuts and giant corporations massive subsidies. The unfairness of this is becoming more apparent with each passing day.
I think most Americans want the budget cut, but they want it done fairly with the rich and the corporations taking their fair share of the pain. If the Republicans continue to follow the teabagger policies (which were initiated by the rich corporate donors -- and was always a top-down "movement") they could find themselves out in the cold on election day in 2012.