Anyone But Hillary


Rasmussen Reports has been polling the Democratic field, and today they measure the strength of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid: She's down to 22 percent support in the primary and fading fast.

That's one poll with a sizable (5 percent) margin of error, but it's an incredibly weak showing for Clinton.

Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D) formally announced his plans to run for President and instantly finds himself near the top of the heap. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 401 Likely Democratic Primary Voters finds that 22% favor New York Senator Hillary Clinton (D) while 21% prefer Obama. Obama has consistently been in second place in several Rasmussen Reports polls, but this is the first time he has been in a virtual tie with the former First Lady.

John Edwards polls at 15 percent; he's up 6 since the last poll, Obama's up 4. Hillary is down 12 points from the last poll in early December.

How sad is this for Clinton? In 1999 we (blessedly) didn't start the presidential race this early, but Texas Gov. George Bush was coming in around 40 percent support in Republican primary polls. A poll taken by Opinion Research Corporation (CNN's pollster, now that Gallup's split off from the network) in Jan 6-11, 1999, had Bush at 40 percent, Elizabeth Dole at 22 percent, Jack Kemp at 8, and a bunch of single-digiters including Dan Quayle and some guy named John McCain. Most Republicans had heard of Bush (or thought he was his dad) and kind of liked him. Every Democrat knows who Hillary Clinton is, and almost 4/5 of them are looking for another candidate. It's a blow to the vaunted "support the war, don't support Grand Theft Auto" playbook.

The punchline: This poll was taken before Obama announced he was in the race.