Steven Stark analyses that same WSJ/ABC News poll and concludes that Obama has plenty of his own liabilities, though they are different from Clinton’s. He’s right about that, but I would also point out that part of the alleged appeal of Obama’s candidacy (his supposed “freshness,” representing a break with the past, being inspiring, etc.) does not seem to be distinguishing him from Clinton among Democratic voters.
When Democratic primary voters are asked (question 25 and following) to rate Clinton on “being inspirational and an exciting choice for president,” 64% give her the top two ratings available. When they rate Obama, he can only get 56%. One of the central elements of Obama’s campaign is supposed to be that he is the inspirational and exciting representative of a new generation, etc., but Democratic voters are apparently (inexplicably) more inspired and excited by Clinton. (She does have an exclamation point on her campaign signs, so maybe that has something to do with it.) Likewise, on the question of “bringing real change to the country,” Clinton outscores him again among Democratic primary voters 63 to 52. If he can’t convince members of his own party that he is more inspirational and more likely to bring change–two signature themes of his campaign–than Hillary Clinton, he hasn’t a chance of convincing anybody else.