October 19, 2003


2004 Democratic Candidates Still Mostly Unknown (Dana Blanton, October 18, 2003, Fox News)

Over a third (37 percent) of Americans say there is a Democratic candidate they would vote for over President Bush, 44 percent say there is not an announced candidate they would vote over Bush, and 19 percent are unsure, according to this week's FOX News poll. Of those saying there is a Democrat they would support over Bush, a plurality says they would vote for "any or several" of the Democrats rather than the president.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark bests Lieberman by only two percentage points (well within the poll's margin of error) on the question of which Democrat running has the strongest leadership qualities. Lieberman is the only candidate to receive double-digits on the questions of which Democratic candidate is the most honest and trustworthy (16 percent) and which has the best knowledge of the issues (18 percent).

Most strikingly, over half of voters are unsure or have no opinion on these candidate questions. [...]

Support for Clark is down seven percentage points from September polling, when he was receiving considerable media coverage following his announcement to join the race. Now retired, Clark was a general in the U.S. Army and is still referred to as Gen. Clark. Over half of the public (56 percent) think people are more likely to vote for Clark because of his title, 18 percent say people are less likely, and 16 percent think Clark's title will not make any difference.

It seems even more striking that the better folks get to know these candidates the less they like them. It seems about time for the press to try and force an Edwards boomlet--based mostly on his polls in SC and the delusion that he'll still matter after IA and NH--because neither Dean nor Clark has weathered their 15 minutes well.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 19, 2003 5:05 PM
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