Monday :: Dec 8, 2003

New Pew Center Polls Paint Better Picture for Kerry


by Steve

On a day when Al Gore may have helped seal the Democratic nomination for Howard Dean, new multi-state polls in early primary/caucus states conducted by the respected Pew Center show a closer race in those states than individual state polls have shown. The poll was conducted November 18 through December 4.

According to the Pew poll in Iowa, John Kerry has a shot at overtaking Dick Gephardt for second, validating an earlier Survey USA poll. The Iowa poll was of 394 likely caucus participants, and reflected the following:

Dean 29%
Gephardt 21%
Kerry 18%

Plus, according to the poll, Kerry is the first choice of union members in Iowa, while Dean is the number one choice of liberals in Iowa and New Hampshire.

In New Hampshire, the Pew poll of 585 likely voters reflects a closer margin between Dean and Kerry than other recent polls. In this Pew poll, Dean leads Kerry by 34% to 20%. The two were the only candidates in double figures, according to Pew. The Kerry campaign has begun lowering expectations in the Granite State, apparently hoping to nail a surprise second place showing in Iowa and then using that momentum to do better than expected in New Hampshire.

Pew’s findings amongst 566 likely voters in South Carolina’s open primary confirms that both Dean and Kerry will face significant problems beyond the early contests as the campaign moves south.

Edwards 16%
Clark 11%
Gephardt 10%
Lieberman 9%
Sharpton 8%
Dean 7%
Kerry 3%

The big picture, amongst the pros in the various campaigns and confirmed by the South Carolina results above, is that Dean and Kerry will have problems in the February 3 contests, and Edwards, Clark, and Lieberman are planning on making their last stands in South Carolina, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona. Yet today’s endorsement of Dean by Gore is being viewed as damaging for Lieberman, and it is not clear that Edwards is well positioned to do well anywhere outside of South Carolina.

So despite the push from Gore today, the battle will rage fiercely amongst the others to see who will be left standing as the Dean alternative after the February 3 contests, with the handicap that Dean will by then have probably won both Iowa and New Hampshire. His opponents will be left with grabbing whatever single contests they can, spending their money in southern and western states to generate momentum (Clark, Edwards, Lieberman), or like Gephardt trying to recover from early damaging losses in their backyards, or like Kerry trying to beat expectations and stay relevant but off the radar during the February 3 contests.

Either way you slice it, today’s developments were good for Dean and can only help him raise even more money, but now from the party insiders as well.

Steve :: 9:31 PM :: Comments (2) :: Digg It!