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More Clinton Matchup Polls Suggest Huckabee is More Electable than Previously Thought!


Against Clinton, Huckabee trailed 46% to 43% and his campaign as well as supporters are claiming a big victory from these results in a blog post called "Gaining on Clinton, Obama" by Team Huckabee.

But with the latest results released by Rasmussen Reports, they really need to change that article to something more on the lines of "Huckabee More Electable Against Clinton than Giuliani and Thompson". Sure they'd be tooting their horn a little bit but why not. Toot away I say!

Here's the results of Clinton v. Giuliani and Clinton v. Thompson.

Averages by Month
Head to Head
Republican Clinton
Fred Thompson 42% 48%
Rudy Giuliani 42% 48%
Mike Huckabee 43% 46%

Clinton's margin over both Thompson and Giuliani was at 6% while Huckabee's margin is 3%. Sure, they can claim that this falls within the margin of error and therefore is not statistically significant. But the probability of Huckabee and Giuliani being tied with Clinton is just as likely as Huckabee really 6% better than Giuliani. Probability and movement goes both ways (towards being even and towards an increasing disparity).

But to understand how it is possible for Huckabee to have an edge, you've got to dig deep into how the demographics being polled vote.

Men Make the Difference for Huckabee - Eliminates Fred Thompson

  • Clinton has an edge among female voters about equally against each of these three candidates: Beats Thompson 51% to 38% and 50% to 39% over Giuliani and 52% to 38% over Huckabee.
  • Huckabee draws a large majority of male support 50% to 38% while Giuliani and Clinton are tied at 46% and Thompson at 46% to Clinton's 45%.

This is a glaring problem for Fred Thompson in a general election because of the expected advantage he should hold among men.

Here is the breakdown of Fred Thompson's men-women support in some of the latest state polls.

State Pollster Date Men Women
NH Rasmussen 11/5/07 9% 4%
CT Quinnipiac 11/8/07 11% 3%
PA Quinnipiac 11/8/07 14% 8%
FL Quinnipiac 8/8/07 26% 10%
OH Quinnipiac 8/8/07 15% 7%
PA Quinnipiac 8/8/07 20% 6%

The majority of state polls clearly show his support among men to be more than double that of his support among women -- at least among those that would vote in the Republican primaries. And if, in a general election, he can only pull a tie in a head to head with Clinton among men, his chance of winning will be slim to none. You could argue that a comparison of gender voting preferences in a primary versus a general election is absurd but we really don't think so. Fred Thompson clearly depends on the male support in the Republican party and men obviously favor Huckabee more than him in a general election.

It is still a stretch to say that Huckabee has a better shot at beating Clinton than Giuliani right now. Giuliani still has the better name recognition and he does make some battleground states very competitive like New Jersey, etc. But when thinking electability, Huckabee is currently running ahead of Giuliani and behind McCain who was behind 44% to 43% in an October 11th poll.

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