Chris Cilizza picks apart the latest poll on Clinton from the Washington Post, which shows her with a 33 point lead over Obama (compared with a 14 point lead in early September).
Clinton is ahead among every age group (55+ voters is where she runs strongest with 60 percent support), in every region of the country (65 percent in the Northeast) and at every education level (high school or less 59 percent). White voters favor Clinton 52 percent to 17 for Obama and 16 percent for Edwards; black voters go for Clinton over Obama 51 percent to 38 percent.
Voters who say "strength and experience" is the more important factor in their vote -- not surprisingly -- go for Clinton with 62 percent while Edwards takes second with 14 percent and Obama places third with nine percent. But, even among those who say "new direction and new ideas" is more important to them, a group that, in theory, should be Obama's base, Clinton leads 45 percent to 31 percent.
Beyond the crosstabs in the Democratic primary matchup, things still look very good for Clinton. She holds commanding leads when Democratic voters are asked who in the field is the "strongest leader" (61 percent for Clinton, 20 percent for Obama, 13 percent for Edwards) or who has the best chance of winning the White House next November (57 Clinton, 20 Edwards, 16 Obama).
But, even in other attribute areas that should be far tougher for Clinton, she also holds an edge. Which candidate is best able to reduce partisanship in Washington? Clinton takes 42 percent to 24 percent for Edwards and 20 percent for Obama. The candidate who best reflects the "core values" of the party? Fifty percent for Clinton, 21 percent for Edwards, 18 percent for Obama. How about the "most inspiriing" candidate? Clinton leads Obama 41 percent to 37 percent while Edwards lags with 14 percent.
She also crushes Obama on being trusted on Iraq by 30 points. And what did Frank Rich write with his story 'Is Hillary Clinton the New Old Al Gore?', and what was Mike Allen and John Harris of the Politico claiming last week?
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) last week flew into a sudden burst of media wind shear. After months of mostly rosy portrayals of her campaign's political skill, discipline and inevitability, the storyline shifted abruptly to evasive answers, shady connections and a laugh that sounded like it was programmed by computer....
But the intensity and sharp personal edge of much of the commentary was a reminder of a thread in American political culture reaching back to the early 1990s: the deep and mutual skepticism between the Clintons and the elite media.
Hillary Clinton, like her husband, can take solace in the fact she has survived and prospered amid peevish coverage from New York and Washington news organizations - stories that often echo the buzz in social circles in both cities.
This week's stories, however, all in various ways highlighted what her strategists and independent analysts have recognized as a genuine challenge for her in 2008: overcoming perceptions that she is a politician so infused with ambition and artifice that she can not connect with ordinary voters.
Iowa's a wild card, of course, but the argument that Clinton cannot connect with ordinary voters is just not true. She's beating the other Democrats with every single demographic group on issues they should have clear leads.
Expect lots of this to be trotted out throughout the fall, especially tics like the laugh and subtly sexist nods to her gender (or not subtle ones, like the cleavage piece). There's more and more evidence that the horse race storylines or what anonymous 'strategists' think is just cocktail party chatter that is always wrong.