There was quite a bit of shuffling in the orders this week. Kerry regained the #1 spot but the gap between him and Dean remains very narrow. Kerry still benefits from being the nominal front runner in the eyes of the press. Meaning that nearly any news story that refers to any of the other candidates is going to refer to him as well. Dean is still a threat to take over that spot however. The next few weeks will tell where the Dean mo' is going.
The middle also shifted around considerably, with the biggest surprise being the jump for Dennis Kucinich from perennial #7 to the #5 spot (ahead of Gephardt and Lieberman). This may reflect the impression that he is the only other candidate that is "firing up the base" in a way comparable to Dean. And in a week where Dean stories were everywhere, Kucinich stories weren't far behind. This could actually be to Dean's benefit. One of the media myths being passed around is that Dean is the candidate of the "lefty-left". But the more Kucinich hangs around the more he can be used to point out that he is the REAL candidate of the "lefty-left".
Gephardt and Lieberman really need to do something to return to the media spotlight if they don't want to get buried in the Dean deluge.
(Methodology: All numbers are taken from the hit counts when searching on the Google News Service
for news stories containing each candidate's name. Click on each name to rerun the search. You will likely get different results as the numbers are constantly changing. I make absolutely no claim that these numbers have any real meaning.)