New polls dash hopes for the White House losers of 2000 and 2004
In the first round of ’08 White House polls since the US midterms there’s good news for Rudy Giuliani, John McCain ,Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama but bad news for the vote winner but electoral college loser of 2000, Al Gore, and the man who went to bed on November 4th 2004 believing the exit polls meant he was next President, John Kerry.
With tight races for both the Democratic and Republican nominations this will almost certainly be the top political betting event over the next two years and interest has really taken off since last week’s successes for the Democrats in the midterms.
The first major national polls have showed very similar pictures and the US Polling Report site’s graphic on the latest survey shows how both party races are being dominated by two contenders who are well ahead.
At this stage in the race to get the party nominations a lot is down to name recognition and normally the poll findings don’t add up to all that much. A Newsweek poll at the weekend took different and quite revealing approach. It asked respondent “As I read you the names of some possible candidates for president in 2008, please tell me if there is a good chance, some chance, or no chance you would vote for each one. If I mention someone you’ve never heard of, just say so. What about..”
It’s the “no chance” numbers on the Newsweek poll that I find interesting. These were Kerry 55%: Gore 53%: Clinton 45%: Obama 24%. Kerry’s rating is no surprise given his pre-Midterms “joke”. Al Gore, in spite of his highly publicised environmental initiatives, must be disappointed while Barack Obama’s “no chance” rating is encouraging even though more than a third in this survey said they “had never heard of him”.
Another survey on Polling Report showing “head to heads” between John McCain and different possible Democratic nominees the Republican is 5% ahead against Clinton, 7% ahead over Edwards but there is only a 4% margin over Obama.
These early polls matter because at this stage everything is about fund-raising and momentum is critical. How much money can they attract to make their campaigns credible? Donors like to support potential winners.