Saturday :: Mar 1, 2003

Lieberman’s Numbers Crumble


by Steve

After a two-week period that saw good press for Howard Dean’s and Dick Gephardt’s speeches at the DNC, and John Kerry’s swing through Southern California, PollingReport.com puts up the most recent poll from Fox/Opinion Dynamics, which shows plummeting poll numbers for Joe Lieberman, surprising strength for Gephardt, some slippage for Kerry and Edwards, and an insignificant uptick for Dean.

The poll, taken most recently this past Tuesday and Wednesday, after the DNC meeting but before Kerry’s trip out west and re-entry into active campaigning, shows Gephardt the first choice of a sample of registered Democrats nationwide with 16 percent, followed by Lieberman at 15 percent, and Kerry at ten percent. A month ago, the same poll showed a commanding lead of 29 percent for Lieberman, with Gephardt in second at 15 percent and Kerry third at 13 percent. Aside from the steep decline for Lieberman, what is most notable in this poll is that Edwards has lost ground in the last month, Dean has gained very little, and a full third of those polled aren’t sure who they would vote for, up from 20 percent a month ago.

Now polls this early are borderline meaningless until we see the fundraising numbers at the end of the first quarter and see who is snagging the “A” list campaign staffs, such as Kerry’s hiring of Bob Shrum this week (although many would say that this will be a net loss for Kerry). And even though the sample size of this poll is very small, it is hard to overlook the falling numbers for Lieberman, and the flatline results for Edwards after his good rollout. Kerry’s numbers could be expected to fall as he virtually disappeared for the better part of the last three weeks due to his prostate surgery, and the full effects of Dean’s good press of late didn’t register this quickly. That being said, Gephardt (who I have dismissed all along, perhaps wrongly) still shows relative strength in these numbers, and in the Time/CNN poll from last week.

According to a variety of sources, Edwards and Kerry are raising good amounts of cash, and in the case of Edwards, it appears he will need it, especially due to the entry of Bob Graham in the race yesterday. Although Graham’s candidacy is not aimed at making a splash in either New Hampshire or Iowa, he will focus his early efforts on South Carolina, where Edwards was counting on making a pickup.

Most encouragingly for the Democrats, in the same Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, Bush’s lead over a Democratic challenger is virtually gone, (42-38), after a spread of 23 points (44-21) just three months ago.

Steve :: 12:15 AM :: Comments (7) :: Digg It!