April’s Diageo/Hotline poll is out, and it has some frankly stunning results that should make Republicans very unhappy. The generic ballot gives the Dems a 20 point advantage. McCain-Clinton and Giuliani-Clinton match-ups are where the Republicans do their best overall, and Giuliani even edges out Clinton, but in every other contest the Democratic candidate dominates. Obama pulls 17% of Republicans in a match-up with McCain; he pulls 13% against Giuliani. Neither of them beats Obama right now. Edwards gets 14% of Republicans vs. McCain and 12% vs. Giuliani. Edwards beats both of the supposedly most “electable” Republican candidates.
Romney…well, Romney is like a chicken being taken to the chopping block. It’s just embarrassing how badly he loses in these match-ups. Clinton beats him by 14, and that’s the smallest margin of Democratic victory. Obama wins by 27, and Edwards by 25. He actually underperforms relative to the generic Republican ticket against both of them. Against Obama, he can barely get a majority of Republicans to admit to supporting him if he were the nominee. The Mormon factor? Maybe. Maybe people are just turned off by his inhuman cadence and condescending grin. Bizarrely, the most recent polls show a narrow plurality of GOP primary voters rallying to the man who seems likely to be the worst general election candidate the GOP has had since Taft’s re-election bid (the difference is that Taft at least had the excuse that he was in a three-way race).
Yes, yes, it’s early, these polls mean next to nothing as I have said on many occasions, and the Republicans still have a lot of time to recover and compete, but I cannot recall the last time the margins between major named candidates were this large.