Clinton's Surge: Inevitability is apparently selling for now. A day after Hillary Clinton's campaign announced that the New York senator had out-raised Barack Obama by seven million dollars in the third quarter of the year, the latest Washington Post/ABC poll shows her taking a commanding 33 point lead in the primary race. The poll has Clinton with 53 percent of support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents compared to 20 percent for Obama and 13 percent for John Edwards.
Timing is crucial in politics and the concurrence of these two pieces of news is impeccable. Perhaps the most interesting numbers in the new poll are these: Fifty seven percent of Democrats believe Clinton has the best chance to win the White House next November and Clinton now leads among Democrats who are most concerned with charting a new direction. Of course, it's just one national poll but Clinton shows few signs of weakness in the state-by-state polls outside of Iowa where all three of the top Democrats are within striking distance.
Rudy's Argument: The strategy memo from Rudy Giuliani's campaign is making the rounds and it's no surprise that it echoes Clinton's electability argument. The campaign's strategy director Brent Seaborn digs into available polling data and writes: "There is no candidate that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats fear more in the general election than Rudy Giuliani. That strength is further supported by recent poll numbers showing Mayor Giuliani as the Republican's strongest general election candidate and reiterated by Democratic polling in swing Democratic congressional districts."
Politico displays some of the projection maps for various GOP candidates in the general election which look to be wildly optimistic considering recent electoral history. The maps projects Electoral College breakdowns for four GOP candidates against Clinton. In these scenarios, Romney fares poorest, according to the Giuliani camp.
They have Clinton projected as winning 274 EVs, Romney winning 159 and 105 up for grabs in swing states. For Fred Thompson, it's; 248 for Clinton, 178 for Thompson and 112 up for grabs. McCain fares better, nabbing 178 to Clinton's 190 with 170 in swing states. And, of course, Giuliani completely nullifies Clinton. The projection in that case awards just 18 EVs to Clinton compared to 210 for Giuliani and 310 up for grabs.
Still Waiting For That McCain Comeback? The Arizona senator's ship has been righted a bit since his summer meltdown. The fundraising has ticked up, he's improved in the polls and his stump appearances have been more reminiscent of his 2000 campaign. Today, he will reportedly take the battle to the Democratic front-runner.
In prepared remarks obtained by the Associated Press, McCain will argue: "The Democratic front-runner wants to have it both ways when it comes to foreign policy. On the one hand, the New York senator voted for the Iraq War. On the other hand, she now opposes it - sort of," according to the prepared remarks. "On the one hand, she wants a firm deadline for retreat. But, on the other hand, she says we cannot abandon the nation to Iran's designs. … Senator Clinton, this is not the '90s. This is the post-September 11 world. The commander in chief does not enjoy the luxury to conduct our national security by means of triangulation."
Update: The AP reports this a.m. that those remarks will NOT be included in McCain's speech today: Campaign spokesperson Brooke Buchanan says: "It has nothing to do with the content of the speech. It has to
do with the with the venue. This isn't the appropriate venue for that." McCain's speech will be delivered to the Camden Military Academy, which is for students grades 7 through 12.
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