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May 27, 2014 5:35 PM Who Would Lose Less Disastrously to HRC?

By Ed Kilgore

Over the weekend FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enton did a bit of signature counter-intuitive analysis by supplying evidence that a stronger challenge to Hillary Clinton within the Democratic Party might well come from a more moderate and male candidate like Jim Webb as opposed to a progressive woman like Elizabeth Warren.

It makes for a nice lede, but if you look at the actual numbers, the relative advantage a Webb might have over a more leftish rival like Warren is pretty much small potatoes. HRC’s “vulnerability” amounts to a 5-point negative gender gap among men (men still give her 60% support against the field), a five-point dropoff of support among non-liberals (all the way from 70% to 65%!), and a generic “more conservative than HRC” preference of 15-19% of Democrats.

I somehow don’t think Jim Webb’s going to see these numbers and immediately set up an exploratory committee, based on the suggestion he’d lose to HRC less disastrously than would Elizabeth Warren.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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