Thursday, December 10, 2015

Polls and Voter Fear

Headline numbers from the latest NY Times/NBC News Republican poll:

Trump:  35
Cruz:    16
Carson:  13
Rubio:    9

So Trump retains his big lead, and the person moving to challenge him is Cruz, not the establishment favorite Rubio.  On the other hand only 36% of likely primary voters say they have made up their minds.

They also asked voters about how worried they are that various candidates might become president. Not surprisingly Trump has the lead here as well, but Hillary is not far behind:
Over all, 24 percent of voters expressed concern and 40 percent fear about what Mr. Trump would do if elected president, whereas 23 percent said they are concerned and 34 percent scared about the possibility of a Clinton presidency. Not surprisingly, voters were sharply divided along partisan lines.

While Republican voters were most likely to say they were excited (24 percent) or optimistic (41 percent), a full one-third of Republicans say they are concerned or scared about Mr. Trump. Mrs. Clinton’s base views her potential presidency more favorably than does Mr. Trump’s. Twenty-two percent of Democratic voters are excited and 54 percent are optimistic, while only 23 percent said they were concerned or scared.
So 64% are worried about having Trump as president, while 57% are worried about Hillary. This raises the possibility of a contest in partisan fear and hatred, in which people who think Bill and Hillary are secret murderers battle against people who think Trump is a fascistic demagogue. I think Hillary would win this race, since her haters are more concentrated among the people who wouldn't vote for any Democrat, while people scared by Trump include many who lean Republican. But it would be very ugly.

Hillary hatred is something of a mystery to me; she seems to me like a very ordinary sort of politician, a mix of standard Democratic policies and presidential-grade ambition. People make a big deal out of the Clintons' involvement with semi-secret fund-raising networks and the like, but really they are no more involved in such things than any other big-time politicians. But I suppose for some people the combination of Democratic politics with Hillary's ambition and tough-woman persona is enough to make her the devil.

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