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Monday, December 10, 2007

How The Mighty Have Fallen

In three weeks, Mark Penn has gone from arguing that Hillary Clinton would win a general election landslide to contending that all is not lost in her primary campaign.


Clinton pollster: 'We're still winning'

December 10, 2007
Posted at 10:39 AM
by Jill Zuckman
Tribune’s The Swamp Blog

Manchester, N.H. – Mark Penn, the top strategist to Hillary Clinton, has a new memo out this morning. The sum and substance of it adds up to "we're still winning."

Penn argues that there are so many polls out these days that no one is paying attention to which is which, which is credible and which actually shows a trend one way or another. (And don't mix and match the different polls when making comparisons, he instructs.)

He offers the cognoscenti and the pundits a few reminders. Clinton started out well behind in Iowa and it's now competitive. The new Mason-Dixon poll originally showed her down 9 points in South Carolina, but now has her up by three. Many people seized on the new poll to say the race is tightening there, he said. And last week, three New Hampshire polls showed her with widely varying leads – 14 points, 11 points and 6 points.

"These races are always roller coasters, with so many different polls and so many different results," Penn writes. "So to wrap up – poll reader beware."


Clinton campaign: Hillary would win in a landslide if the election were tomorrow

By Klaus Marre | Posted: 11/15/07 2:55 p.m. [ET]
November 15, 2007

Mark Penn, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) chief strategist, said Thursday that the Democratic front-runner would get 360 electoral votes if the election were held tomorrow and she faced former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R).

Penn, in a campaign memo, said the results would be similar regardless of which of the top Republican candidates Clinton would face.

Republicans took Penn's prediction in stride.

“It is good to see that the Clinton camp can maintain a sense of humor after the worst two weeks of their campaign,” said Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee. “Before they start drafting memos on general election strategy, someone ought to write a plan to stop Hillary Clinton’s sinking poll numbers in the early states or figure out where their candidate stands on Social Security, tax reform, and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.”

Ahead of Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate, the memo is a rallying cry for Clinton supporters. The former first lady has undergone her first major crisis in the race following a shaky performance at the last debate.

However, Penn paints the race as Clinton holding steady atop the polls while her Democratic rivals have to resort to “aggressive personal attacks.”

“The voters are looking for someone who has the strength and experience to lead, and little has changed in the last few weeks outside of the massive media coverage of the attacks,” Penn stated.

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