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Red flag for a sinking Obama: Americans now prefer Hillary Clinton

April 14, 2010 |  6:12 am

Hillary-BarackSplit

It is, of course, a really silly thing to even think about, given the clout of the Chicago Machine boys currently occupying the White House.

But, just say, the Real Great Talker continues his spiraling descent in the polls over the next 12-18 months; already the Democrat is barely tied with Any Republican in opinion polls looking toward 2012. 

Even worse, a majority of Americans have already decided they don't want Obama to have a second term.

And just say under Obama's leadership and insistence on his unpopular healthcare bill over jobs, all the spending and exploding deficits, plus the certainty of new taxes to cover his costs, the Democrats in Congress get thoroughly thrashed by the GOP come November. Maybe they even lose control of both houses.

This week a new poll showed Americans now preferring the GOP on a generic congressional ballot. And despite eagerly optimistic recent administration economic claims, the unemployment rate is likely to hang high, and now comes a new ABC News Poll finding national consumer confidence actually waning, not building.

Do you think then maybe by a year from now some Democratic Party bigwigs and money people might be whispering to each other that this arrogant Illinois guy is pulling a Jimmy Carter, constructing a disastrous....

...single term that teed up 12 straight years of Republican White House rule?

Well, it turns out, there is another Democrat -- another former senator, in fact -- hanging around now free of political tussles with an enhanced resume burnished on the world stage, thanks to Obama himself.

And a new CNN/Opinion Research Poll has just revealed that even today Americans like that other Democrat more and dislike that other Democrat less than they do the incumbent Democratic president.

That other Democrat is, of course, Hillary Clinton, who fought and scratched her way mightily but unsuccessfully through those bitter, belligerent Democratic primaries and caucuses of 2008. The former first lady and current secretary of State professes no intra-mural interest in challenging her White House boss, as she must as long as she's an administration team member.

The published CNN article focused on an Obama matchup with Sarah Palin. But within the data were Favorable/Unfavorable ratings for numerous prominent politicians of both parties. Here are the surprising new poll numbers for Clinton:

61% now think favorably of the former senator and only 35% unfavorably, both numbers improved from the 56% and 40% she had during the Democratic National Convention in late August of 2008.

An early 2012 political button

It is, on one level, an impressive turnaround for the once polarizing political figure.

And on another level it's a comment on the polarity of the political climate presided over by someone who promised to bring people together and change Washington's harsh partisan tone, another postponed campaign vow like eliminating Guantanamo and "Don't Ask-Don't Tell."

By comparison, in the same CNN poll, 57% of Americans now think favorably of Obama, down from 78% just before his inauguration; and 41% now think unfavorably of him, more than twice his unfavorable rating of early 2009.

Clinton's numbers also beat all other both Democrats and Republicans in the new poll.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has 38-50 Favorable-Unfavorable; Sen. Harry Reid 28-35. The good news for Reid is that 20% of Americans have never heard of him; the bad news is Nevadans know him well and have him trailing any conceivable Republican candidate in this November's election.

Among Republican names, Mike Huckabee's favorable-unfavorable rating is 43-29; Mitt Romney 40-34; Newt Gingrich 38-38 (see his recent speech video here); and Sarah Palin 39-55, up from her other recent numbers. See Palin's recent speech video right here.

Loyal Ticket readers may remember this item of ours from last December when USA Today and Gallup found the two most admired females in America were Clinton and Palin -- and only 1% separated them.

Even more loyal Ticket readers will recall our item from nearly two years ago here revealing that the day after she surrendered to Obama upon losing the party primary race and said she heartily supported him, Clinton associates purchased a Web domain name: HRC2012.

Probably just an over-eager staffer, wouldn't you think?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: CNN (Primary season body language says more than words in 2008); CafePress.

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