Even at this relatively early stage in the election process, there is still a full year to go, and already there have been many polls taken covering many phases of the public’s opinion. Rasmussen reports has been keeping track of the public’s favorability ratings of the candidates since very early on and at that time, only two had more than 40% of the voters who were committed to voting against them and they were Hillary Clinton and Newt Gingrich. Two months ago, with Gingrich out of the picture, Mitt Romney joined Clinton in the over 40% group.
Since then Clinton’s negative figures have remained pretty steady, but the rest of the field is catching up with their negativity ratings growing steadily to the point that now more than 40% of voters say they are committed to voting against five out of the seven leading candidates. The only exceptions are John McCain and Fred Thompson and they are not far behind with each of them coming in with 39% saying they are committed to voting against them.
Since August the opposition to all of the top seven candidates has increased to the point that now the average of all seven is 43%. Back in August, the average was 38%.
When it comes to the favorability ratings, Clinton has seen hers grow more than any other of the candidates and now she has the highest percentage of voters who say they will definitely vote for her than she has had since the beginning. She has 35% who say they will definitely vote for her if she is the Democratic nominee. None of the other candidates has over 29% of committed support.
She also has her largest lead of the year in the general election polling when she is matched up with the two leading GOP candidates Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson.
Bu subtracting the positive ratings from the negative, or the other way around, they arrive at the net amount of support for each candidate. Th candidates who has the highest net core support is Clinton. Her net number is -11 with 46% giving her a negative and 35% saying they will vote for her.
Giuliani has a net number of -14%, 43% definitely against and 29% defiantly for and Thompson is a close third with -15, 24% for and 39% against.
Obama has fared the worse over the past few months with the biggest decline since August. His core opposition percentage has grown from 35% then to 43% today. Over the same time period, his core support percentage fell from 29% to 25%, which give him a -18.
Based on these results, it is going to be the voters who are leaning one way or the other who are going to make the difference, those who say they are very likely or somewhat likely to vote for a particular candidate. And the voters who have not given any opinion will play a big roll also.
Source: Rasmussen http://www.rasmussenreports.com/