Either A Kerry/McCain or Kerry/Edwards Ticket Stomps Bush/Cheney - CBS Poll
As Kerry nears his decision on a running mate, we will see more polls like the one CBS News did late last week. As part of their most recent poll on the head-to-head race, CBS asked how respondents would vote in November if they had a choice between a Kerry/McCain ticket and the incumbent incompetents. To probably no one's surprise, the Kerry/McCain ticket stomps the incompetents into possible landslide oblivion, by a 53%-39% total. As much fun as guys like me have with the match up and the total destruction of Bush/Cheney such a result would bring, my glee is obliterated with the knowledge that it will never happen.
But it is the other result in this poll that restores my glee. Why?
Because the same poll shows that a Kerry/Edwards ticket similarly blows away the incompetents by a 50%-40% total. Depending on where those totals break down, that is also landslide material. Team Kerry has been putting Edwards through the wash cycle an extra time lately according to newly-minted campaign insider Howard Fineman. I remain convinced that all things being equal, Kerry would pick either Gephardt or Clark before he would pick Edwards, and he would probably pick Iowa governor Tom Vilsack ahead of Edwards as well, because 1) I think he is more comfortable with all three of them as compared to Edwards, and 2) I frankly think that Kerry is not wild about having a running mate so much better on the stump than he.
These results and the fact that Edwards can sell the "Two Americas" theme in the fall so much better than Kerry can sell his economic message, leaving Kerry to focus on national security and foreign policy, makes it more likely to me that in the end Kerry will grudgingly go with Edwards.
The campaign's decision to reintroduce Kerry with the biographical ads have worked so well to turn around his unfavorables that the campaign has now decided to go after Bush in Virginia and Louisiana, and Kerry is now even or ahead in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. Add to this good news what the CBS poll says about having Edwards on the ticket and what it may mean to bring in North Carolina, and the numbers don't lie.
A ten-point thrashing with a Kerry/Edwards ticket and possible pick ups in North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana after major ad buys mean a Democratic House as well. Kerry may be somewhat vain, but no one ever accused him of being stupid.