WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hillary Clinton may be the Democrat who Republicans love to hate, but some Republican strategists say they have no fear of a match-up with her rival Barack Obama in November’s presidential election.
Many Republicans have long believed Clinton, the polarizing New York senator and former first lady with the high negative ratings, would make an easier White House foe by energizing conservatives and alienating independents.
But Republicans say the relentless Democratic nominating battle has given them new hope for November and exposed weaknesses in Obama that will play a central role in any general election campaign against the Illinois senator.
“I believe he has a glass jaw — and he is going to get hit hard,” said Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio.
Obama’s voting record in the U.S. Senate — one magazine ranked him the most liberal senator in 2007 — and during his years in the Illinois state Senate will get a more thorough examination in a campaign against Republican John McCain than it has so far, he said.
“He portrays himself as a centrist and a moderate, but if you look at his votes it’s tough to see anything but a liberal. He is more liberal than Hillary Clinton,” Fabrizio said.
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