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So Much Negativity

Two very negative polls about 2008 are out right now. One asked which candidate "frightens" people the most, and the other asked whom people would "definitely not vote for."

Hillary came out on "top" in both polls. More grist for the left-wing, anti-Hillary mill ("She's too polarizing! We need to nominate Russ Feingold!").

Here's the breakdown.

Poll 1 (Fox News/Opinion Dynamics):

Which candidate frightens you the most?

Clinton?
All: 36 percent
Democrats: 22 percent
Republicans: 58 percent

Giuliani?
All: 17 percent
Democrats: 29 percent
Republicans: 6 percent

Gore?
All: 15 percent
Democrats: 10 percent
Republicans: 18 percent

McCain?
All: 11 percent
Democrats: 14 percent
Republicans: 8 percent

For Giuliani vs. McCain watchers, it's worth noting that Giuliani is far more feared by Democrats than is McCain, whereas they're roughly even among Republicans. Is this good news for Giuliani fans because their man strikes fear in the hearts of the enemy? Or does it show he's too polarizing for the general election? His negatives in this poll are still less than half those of Hillary, so I'd call it a good thing.

And I think the fact that Giuliani's the most-feared candidate by Democrats, by far, strengthens -- in a roundabout way -- the notion of Giuliani's strength with the conservative base. Does the base want a McCain, whom liberals love? Or a Rudy, whom liberals fear?

Poll 2 (CNN):

Respondents were asked whether they would "definitely vote for," "consider voting for," or "definitely not vote for" three Democrats and three Republicans who might run for president in 2008.

Hillary Clinton and John Kerry tied at 47 percent, as to whom voters would "definitely not vote for." Gore beat them with 48 percent of the "definitely not vote for" vote. (Far fewer respondents would even consider voting for Hillary [28 percent] versus Kerry [35 percent] and Gore [32 percent].)

On the Republican side, Gov. Jeb Bush -- riding his brother's coattails into oblivion -- walks away with the prize: 63 percent of respondents wouldn't even consider voting for him. McCain comes in second in that contest with 34 percent saying definitely no. Rudy does best, in third place, with only 30 percent saying definitely no. Rudy also has a higher base of support than McCain in the poll, with 19 percent saying they would definitely vote for him, versus 12 percent saying the same of McCain.

* * *

What do these polls, taken together, tell us? Well, Poll 1 is of registered voters, not likely voters; and Poll 2 is of "adult Americans." So ... not a ton.

But they do seem to confirm the CW that Hillary is polarizing and an extremely problematic candidate for the Democrats. (Over at NRO, JPod has his doubts about the CNN poll because of the group sampled. But are there polls of likely voters showing that Hillary isn't polarizing? Polarizing doesn't mean she can't win, of course ... but it does probably mean she can be stopped.)

At the same time, these polls also show that Giuliani is more popular with Republicans, and McCain is more popular with Democrats. (And if 34 percent would definitely not vote for McCain in that CNN poll, a lot of those people are probably Republicans.) Which position would you like to be in going into a Republican primary?