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Poll: Obama would defeat all five GOP front runners

Expect Camp Hillary to panic and escalate the attacks on Barack Obama with the release of this Zogby poll. In a head-to-head poll with the leading GOP candidates in the general election, only Barack Obama bests Romney, Huckabee, Giuliani, McCain and Thompson.

His margins of advantage range from a 4 percent edge over Arizona Sen. John McCain and a 5 percent edge over Arkansas’ Mike Huckabee to an 18 percentage point lead over Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, the survey shows. Against New York’s Rudy Giuliani he leads by 9%, and against Fred Thompson of Tennessee he holds a 16 point edge.

 
Romney
Huckabee
Giuliani
McCain
Thompson
Obama
Obama leads 53%-35%
Obama leads 47%-42%
Obama leads 48%-39%
Obama leads 47%-43%
Obama leads 52%-36%

Clinton, however, while close, has fallen behind Huck, McCain and Giuliani.

 
Romney
Huckabee
Giuliani
McCain
Thompson
Clinton
Clinton leads 46%-44%
Huckabee leads 48%-43%
Giuliani leads 46%-42%
McCain leads 49%-42%
Clinton leads 48%-42%

Edwards bests Huckabee handily, loses to McCain and is basically tied with Rudy.

 
Romney
Huckabee
Giuliani
McCain
Thompson
Edwards
Edwards leads 50%-38%
Edwards leads 47%-41%
Giuliani leads 45%-44%
McCain leads 46%-42%
Edwards leads 51%-35%

What is also interesting, and critical, is how the independent vote breaks down here. This poll shows Obama currently with a huge advantage over Hillary Clinton with this slice of voters. That can't be a good sign for her campaign, considering how she's catered to the political center. Obama, up to this point, had been pegged as the darling of progressives in many ways, so to see that independents tilting his way in any poll spells danger for Clinton.

* Among independents, Clinton is about even — 43% for Giuliani, 42% for Clinton.
* Obama trounces Giuliani among independents, 56% to 31%.
* Edwards leads Giuliani, 52% to 38% among independents.
* Clinton loses independent support against McCain, 37% to his 46%.
* Obama versus McCain among independent voters: Obama leads, 51% to 35%.
* Edwards and McCain are tied at 42% among independents.

These findings may explain the heavy handed negative side campaign coming from Clinton supporters/operatives — the circulation of the “Obama is the Muslim Manchurian Candidate” emails, Bob Kerrey raising the “madrassa” issue, and the “innocent” raising in the media (again) of the Illinois senator's long-admitted dabbling in drugs as a teenager — by now-departed Clinton campaigner Bill Shaheen. 

Going negative — particularly when it's done in a disingenous sleazy way by making sure “madrassa” and “cocaine” float out there in the media regardless of context — is an attempt to drive Obama's negatives up. Then the Clinton minions issue apologies and wrist slaps, but the mentions are out there. 

These attempts seem so ham-handed; I can't imagine her campaign thinks the above tactics would not result in blowback. Obviously that run of bad PR can rub some voters the wrong way; if Clinton doesn't want to see a further independents bleed away, her campaign needs to wise up fast.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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