Field Poll Buzz: Condi vs. Kamala Dream Match-Up
The new Field Poll, testing whether voters are inclined or not to vote for various individuals for U.S. Senate, is most significant for one reason: as a demonstration that Republican former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice could be a strong contender if she got into the race.
Compared to the rest of the mentionables, Rice draws the most number of respondents who are inclined to vote for her – 49% — more than all the others, including one declared candidate, Attorney General Kamala Harris, who pulls 47%.
Most important, this far in advance of the election — and with absolutely no indication from Rice that she’s interested in running — is that while 74% of Republicans say they’re inclined to vote for her, so too are 31% of Democrats and 54% of independents.
Harris, likewise, draws inclinations for 74% of Democrats, but only 10% of Republicans and 42% of independents.
In other words, absent any kind of campaign, which surely would give her plenty of solid whacks, the former cornerstone of the Bush-Cheney-Rice triumvirate would appear to be in a strong position to seek a seat in the Senate from California.
A lot stronger than the more likely candidate – Democratic former mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio “Tony V” Villaraigosa. Just 35% of voters are inclined to vote for him right now – 57% of Democrats, 12% of Republicans and 22% of independents.
Rice has told people that she is not interested in leaving her cushy job
as Provost at Stanford for a shot at the Senate. She’d face inevitable questions about her private life and, of course, there’s the small matter of being a, uh, war criminal; alas, she’d probably have to give up her dream of becoming NFL commissioner. And when push comes to party, she is still going to be a Republican in deep blue California.
Despite her disavowal of interest, it wouldn’t surprise us if Rice now gets some pressure from national Republicans to take a more serious look at running: stealing a safe Democratic seat in California would be a fantasy come true for the GOP, a big play that instantly would give the GOP a huge boost in its effort to re-establish relevance in the state.
More grist for that argument: for the moment, when no one has yet laid a glove on her, 52% of whites, 48% of Latinos, 51% of blacks and 38% of Asians all are inclined to vote for her. For Harris it’s 42% of whites, 52% of Latinos, 78% of blacks and 41% of Asians. And while Villaraigosa pulls interest from just 26% of whites, 60% of Latinos say they’re inclined to vote for him, 62% of blacks and 23% of Asians.
The Sacramento Bee posts all of the Field Poll crosstabs here, if you want to check out all the mentioned potential candidates.
In the interest of having a story to cover, Calbuzz now is also rooting for Rice, along with Tony V, to get in the race. Not that she’d make a particularly good U.S. Senator. But it would be a hell of a contest.
“Personal life” being code for unmarried therefore presumably gay? Setting aside the is she/isn’t she, I wonder how that would play out. I think she could probably get away with just not answering. But I wonder if all in the gay community would be sympathetic to a republican who wants to keep their sexuality private. Have things “progressed” to the point that some would try and force an outing?
Ms. Rice’s campaign would be viable only to the point where people start considering the origin and consequences of her infamous “smoking gun / mushroom cloud” remark during the Bush administration’s choreographed run-up to the Iraq War in late 2002. Then, like most pipe dreams, poof!
As President Bush’s national security advisor, Ms. Rice likely knew at the time that what she was saying about Iraq’s alleged WMD program had no actual basis in fact. Nevertheless, she said it anyway. And in doing so, she played a major role in perpetrating a public fraud which eventually consigned nearly 5,000 Americans to an unnecessary death. That’s why any prospective Senate campaign of hers is probably a nonstarter.
Could it be? Could it? Could we really be entering an age where the Republican in a statewide California race might actually be something other than a sacrificial lamb? Naw. Jerry Brown would get a toupee before that ever happens. Still …