Who Says Obama's More Electable?
4:39 PM, Mar 19, 2008 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
Rasmussen's daily tracking polls show that Barack Obama's favorable/unfavorable rating among likely voters now sits at 48 percent favorable and 49 percent unfavorable. That compares to 43/53 for HIllary, and a sunny 53/43 for John McCain. Obama's numbers have moved over a relatively broad range, peaking at 56 percent favorable and 42 percent unfavorable on February 21, and falling as low as 47/50 a few days ago.
Hillary Clinton's numbers have moved much less. Her unfavorables have fallen in the 48-52 range in 39 out of Rasmussen's 50 polls. That should be no surprise; she's probably fallen into that range in 70 percent of all polls since 1993. Republican strategists have come to accept that Hillary Clinton is a known commodity, and it's almost impossible to move her numbers outside a relatively narrow range -- no matter what attacks you employ or how much you spend.
For some time, the conventional wisdom has held that Barack Obama was the better candidate for the Democrats to field against John McCain. That argument was based on a variety of factors, most related to the fact that Obama has a higher ceiling as a candidate than Hillary Clinton. But as with a baseball prospect, that high ceiling is generally accompanied by a lower floor. Recent weeks have provided a reminder that Obama is not well-tested or well-known on the national stage. He might run a better race than Hillary, but he's also more likely to crash and burn.