The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has some not-so-good news for Hillary Clinton:
As expected, one of the two major Democratic candidates saw a downturn in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, but it’s not the candidate that you think. Hillary Clinton is sporting the lowest personal ratings of the campaign. Moreover, her 37 percent positive rating is the lowest the NBC/WSJ poll has recorded since March 2001, two months after she was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York.
In the meantime, while Barack Obama did suffer some damage from the Jeremiah Wright story, he appears to have survived it and moved on:
WASHINGTON — The racially charged debate over Barack Obama’s relationship with his longtime pastor hasn’t much changed his close contest against Hillary Clinton, or hurt him against Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducts the Journal/NBC polls with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, called the latest poll a “myth-buster” that showed the pastor controversy is “not the beginning of the end for the Obama campaign.”
More interestingly, while both candidates have suffered as the campaign has turned negative, one candidate in particular is seeing her numbers fall significantly:
The negativity of the Obama-Clinton contest seems to be hurting Sen. Clinton more, the poll shows. A 52% majority of all voters says she doesn’t have the background or values they identify with. By comparison, 39% say that of Sen. Obama, and 32% of Sen. McCain.
Also, fewer voters hold positive views of Sen. Clinton than did so just two weeks ago in the Journal/NBC poll. Among all voters, 48% have negative feelings toward her and 37% positive, a decline from a net positive 45% to 43% rating in early March. While 51% of African-American voters have positive views, that is down 12 points from earlier this month, before the Wright controversy.
More ominous for Sen. Clinton is the net-negative rating she drew for the first time from women, one of the groups where she has drawn most support. In this latest poll, women voters with negative views narrowly outstrip those with positive ones, 44% to 42%. That compares with her positive rating from 51% of women in the earlier March poll.
And there’s more evidence of the crackup I referred to yesterday:
The toll on both Democrats from their rhetorical brawling is evident in these poll findings: About a fifth of Clinton voters say they would support Sen. McCain if she isn’t the Democratic nominee, and likewise a fifth of Obama voters say they would do the same if he isn’t the party standard-bearer.
That’s likely to get worse as the campaign goes on.