| Sen. Hillary Clinton (AP)
The races for both parties’ presidential nominations are showing signs of tightening. Yet a closer look at the numbers also reveals intriguing crosscurrents that raise questions about how solid the presumed Democratic advantage may be in November 2008.
Surveys show that people would clearly prefer that the Democratic Party win the White House next year, which political operatives and analysts attribute to the deep unpopularity of President Bush and the war in Iraq and a broad desire for change.
When top Republican and Democratic candidates are paired, however, the GOP hopefuls generally do quite well or at least hold their own.
Next year’s Election Day is eons away in political time, and many things could happen to alter today’s dynamics. For now, the surveys raise questions about whether the apparent Democratic edge would really hold up should GOP candidates with moderate credentials like Rudy Giuliani or John McCain face Democrats such as Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama.
When people are asked which party they want to capture the White House, "They tell you about the general climate or mood, and that’s not good for Republicans," said Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster not working for a presidential candidate.