Friday, May 04, 2007

Are The Polls Taken Now, Really That Important?

The people who generally decide the really important elections in this country are not paying that much attention to the early posturing of candidates for '08.

Those people would be the small "i" independents.

Here are some quotes I have heard from those folks:

I don't care if I ever hear the words Clinton or Bush again in this lifetime.

I think Hillary would make a fine Majority leader in the Senate, but not the presidency.

We'll wait until we hear from New Yorkers before we decide anything about Rudy, and from what we have heard so far, he's nuts. But, then so is McCain.

Romney needs to get a name. I can't bring myself to vote for someone named Mit. What's his wife named? Muffy, Buffy or Fluffy?

The Republican Party ought to be put on suspension, like a NCAA team that's caught cheating.

Seems to me we ought to be more focused on making sure this election is clean, fair and well attended, at the moment, rather than who the final candidates will be. We need to get rid of those damn machines. It's a little early in the game.

What I'm looking for is authenticity, and I don't mean an authentic sociopath or pathological liar. I want to see a little passion in this election. Our nation is in ruins, Democracy is dead and the rest of the world hates our guts. We are finsihed as a power with any moral authority in the world. Why is there not more honest discussion about that, and what we can do to turn things around.

I would really like to know the kind of people these candidates would surround themselves with, should they be elected. No more Cabals!

I would like to see multiple political parties, within the next few years, and serious campaign reform, like public funding. We will never have a Democracy until we get the money out of politics.

Leading presidential candidates stumble in polls
May 3, 2007

Horserace Journalism:

It's been a rough month for some of the presidential front-runners in Iowa, according to new polls of the caucus contests.

Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Edwards saw their support drop. So did Republicans Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. Among the leading contenders, only Democrat Barack Obama made gains.

Republican Mitt Romney, who has been running a good campaign in Iowa, has inched into the top tier of his party's candidates by finishing third. Potential candidate Fred Thompson is close behind.

Both parties also saw an increase in the number of undecided caucus-goers and some of the second-tier candidates making gains.

Add all this up, and it seems activists in both parties either have trouble with the leading contenders or are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward the races (which they can do, since there are still eight months before they vote).

The polls of likely Republican and Democratic caucus-goers were taken by the American Research Group of Manchester, N.H. The surveys, which were taken April 27 to 30, polled 600 likely caucus-goers in each party and have a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

On the Democratic side, something's clearly not working for Clinton in Iowa. She's lost a third of her support in a month, falling from 34 percent to 23 percent in the poll.

This drop may reflect Democratic concerns about her electability in the general election or the faux rural accent she's been heard to use around heartland audiences.

It's not hard to find Iowa Democrats who'll say something like, "I like Hillary Clinton, but I don't think she can win." And many on the left are upset with her support for the Iraq war and her refusal to apologize for it.

National polls show she evokes unfavorable reactions from large groups of voters, and this makes it difficult for her to find new supporters.

Edwards dropped 6 points in a month where much of the news about him was the revelation he paid $400 for a haircut. That, plus the large new home he is building, undercuts the po' boy image he wants to have.The good news for Edwards is that he's back to his old status as the front-runner in Iowa, although it was a strange way to get there. Clinton dropped 11 points and Edwards dropped only 6, a shuffle that leaves him 4 points ahead of her - which is an insignificant lead in a poll with a 4 percentage-point margin of error.

Obama has picked up 3 points to cement his third-place position in the race, though he's still not where he was in February, when he was at 23 percent.

On the Republican side, the bloom is off the Giuliani rose in the state. Like Clinton, he's lost about a third of his support in a month.

For some time, GOP experts have said that once social conservatives figure out he's not so conservative on their issues, his support will sag, so maybe that's happening.

Giuliani could counter by rallying moderate Republicans, but Hizzoner just hasn't worked Iowa the way McCain and Romney have. If he wants to do well here, he needs to connect better and put more time and staff into the state - just as they have.

McCain has emerged as the GOP leader, but, like Edwards on the Democratic side, it's largely because some New Yorker stumbled.The interesting candidate in the GOP race remains the non-candidate, Fred Thompson. The former U.S. senator and actor was at 12 percent a month ago and is at 13 percent today. That's impressive considering he's not campaigned in Iowa.

DAVID YEPSEN can be reached at or (515) 284-8545.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

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