Monday, September 1, 2003

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The state of the 2004 campaign

No doubt, the campaign staff from the non-Dean candidates in the field have probably had a lousy summer, what with the governor from Vermont sucking up all of the media attention. Right now, the Kerry staffers in New Hampshire have the greatest cause to feel blue about Dean's surge. To some, it might seem like the campaign is already over.

However, the CBS poll that was released yesterday might offer some comfort to them:

Two-thirds of voters — including two-thirds of Democrats — were unable to name any of the Democratic candidates for president, said the CBS News poll out Sunday.

Joe Lieberman, Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean topped the field in the poll, with relatively low numbers that suggest the race remains wide open.

Lieberman, Gephardt and Dean were the only three in double digits in support from registered Democrats. Lieberman, a Connecticut senator, had the backing of 14 percent; Gephardt, a Missouri congressman, was backed by 11 percent; and Dean, former governor of Vermont was at 10 percent. Other candidates were in single digits.

John Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, was at 5 percent after being in double digits in national polls most of the year. Kerry will try to spark his campaign this week with the formal announcement of his candidacy.

Al Sharpton had 5 percent; Bob Graham, a senator from Florida was at 4 percent; John Edwards, a senator from North Carolina, had 2 percent; Carol Moseley Braun was at 2 percent; and Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio congressman, had 0 percent.

Voters may not know much about the candidates because few are paying attention. Just 15 percent of registered voters say they are paying a lot of attention to the 2004 Presidential campaign. More Democratic voters (19 percent) than Republicans (13 percent) are paying a lot of attention. This lack of attention is not unusual; at about the same point in 1999, just 13 percent of voters were paying a lot of attention to Campaign 2000.

So cheer up, Kucinich voters -- your candidate may have the charisma of a stale waffle and the economic proposals of a recycled Benito Mussolini, but in terms of poll numbers, there's nowhere else to go but up!!

posted by Dan on 09.01.03 at 10:09 AM


Coupla days ago I found myself explaining the state of the Dem's presidential ambitions to a friend of mine's wife, who isn't, by any stretch, a George Bush fan. Nor is she unusually disconnected from current events. Nonetheless, she had no idea who the Democratic hopefuls were, much less that there were nine of them. She had heard some of the names, once I told her, but she knew scratch about them.

She'll probably end up voting for whoever the D's field, but it can't be good for the Democrats that she didn't even know there was a contentious primary campaign ongoing.

posted by: Twn on 09.01.03 at 10:09 AM [permalink]

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