Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nate Silver on Hillary Clinton in 2016

Nate Silver is up with a post on why Hillary Clinton would be formidable in 2016, and it's not because her favorability ratings are exceptionally high:

But if Mrs. Clinton runs for president in 2016, one thing is almost certain: she won’t be as popular as she is right now. Recent polls show that about 65 percent of Americans take a favorable view of Mrs. Clinton, while only about 30 percent have a negative one. Those are remarkably high numbers for a politician in an era when many public officials are distrusted or disliked.
But part of the reason for Mrs. Clinton’s high numbers is that, as secretary of state, she has remained largely above the partisan fray that characterizes elections and fights over domestic policy.

The coolest thing  about the Silver article is the chart that compiles information on Hillary's favorable/unfavorable rating since 1992:

It's remarkable to note, as Silver does in the article, how Clinton's net favorability drops nearly identically with her involvement in the day-to-day partisan back-and-forth of political life. Her worst ratings occurred during the 1993 healthcare debacle, her tenure as Senator from NY, and during the competitive height of the 2008 Democratic primary. Likewise, her best ratings came while performing more ceremonial roles as First Lady and Secretary of State.

Newt Gingrich recently claimed that the GOP would "be incapable of competing" against Hillary Clinton in 2016. Nate Silver seems to suggest that while she'll be formidable, she can be knocked down to size.
... The secretary of state, like the president, also enjoys the symbolic trappings of incumbency when she conducts diplomatic affairs.
Were Mrs. Clinton to run for president again, she would lose most of these advantages. Republicans would begin to criticize her, delicately at first, and then more expressly as the election drew nearer.
.     .     .     .     .     .
But elections in which no incumbent is running are usually fairly close. And in an era of intense partisanship, there is a relatively low ceiling (and perhaps also a relatively high floor) on the favorability ratings that any politician can have in the most active stages of a presidential campaign.

Interesting sides of the argument that the former Daily-Kos'er and GOP Speaker of the House fall down on regarding the Hillary 2016 issue.

Article by Nate Silver, titled 'Why Hillary Clinton would be Strong in 2016', can be found HERE

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