CLINTON POLLSTER SAYS...

CLINTON POLLSTER SAYS HILLARY HAS MORE THAN A "50-50 CHANCE" OF BECOMING PRESIDENT. In an appearance that's sure to get the wheels of will-she-or-won't-she-in-2008 speculation spinning, Clinton pollster Doug Schoen told a panel discussion last night that Hillary "undeniably" has "a 50-50 chance, at least" of becoming president, according to an account posted at the Daily Politics.

At the panel -- sponsored by New York magazine -- Schoen also threw a big chunk of meat to those who want a more confrontational Democratic Party. Schoen, whose firm works for Hillary, said he thinks that the "moderate" wing of the party is losing the struggle -- though that wouldn't stop Hillary from becoming the nominee. Indeed, as the Daily Politics noted, he was surprisingly forthright about her centrist positioning:

"She undeniably is a 50-50 chance, at least," to be elected president, [Schoen] said. "Senator Clinton...has the luxury of being able to position erself toward the center as time goes forward...[leaving the] opening and opportunity on the left wing of the [Democratic] party."

But while he said that his and Clinton's moderate wing of the party is "losing the struggle" in the long run, he didn't seem to think Clinton should be too worried about a primary challenge..."You need $50 million to run in the Democratic primary," he said. "That's going to be tough for anyone other than Senator Clinton to do." ...

Democrats will need "a clear alternative view that says Bush has failed" and clear alternatives on the issues of Iraq, Al Qaeda, and Iran.

We've seen the overwhelming fundraising lead that supposedly will allow Hillary's centrism to survive the primary. So...when do we get to see the "clear alternative" to Bush on foreign policy issues?

Anyway, more grist for the ever-whirling Hillary mill.

--Greg Sargent

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