Friday, August 29, 2003

Google News Democratic Poll for 8/29/2003

  This Week (8/29) Last Week (8/22)
1 Howard Dean 4250 19.4% +1.1 1 3830 18.3%
2 John Kerry 4190 19.1% +2.4 2 3500 16.7%
3 Dick Gephardt 2640 12.0% +1.2 6 2270 10.8%
4 John Edwards 2430 11.1% -1.0 4 2530 12.1%
5 Joe Lieberman 2300 10.5% -0.8 5 2360 11.3%
6 Bob Graham 2130 9.7% -4.3 3 2930 14.0%
7 Dennis Kucinich 1570 7.2% +0.2 7 1460 7.0%
8 Al Sharpton 1270 5.8% +0.3 8 1140 5.4%
9 Carol Moseley Braun 763 3.5% +0.2 9 695 3.3%
10 Wesley Clark 405 1.8% +0.7 10 233 1.1%

Dean retains his #1 spot, but Kerry has closed the gap considerably. This may be due, ironically, to increased coverage of Dean's surge. For example, there were a large number of stories in the last few days about Dean's surge over Kerry in the New Hampshire poll. That story, which is favorable to Dean, also impacted Kerry's media share numbers. All of which is a useful reminder that these numbers do not predict popularity or who is going to win. 

Gephardt also had a pretty good week, indicating that the upper-tier of Dean/Kerry/Gephardt might be pulling away from the 2nd tier.

Speaking of which, Sen. Graham plunged dramatically, perhaps reflecting a more realistic assessment of his media worthiness as a Presidential candidate. Sorry Bob.

The remainder of the 2nd and 3rd tiers remained mostly unchanged.

Wesley Clark remains the darling of the political insiders but a virtual non-entity in the news. His numbers have improved, but he still has only half the coverage that Braun has. While I said above that this poll does not necessarily reflect predictive value for winning, I think Clark supporters might want to be a little more realistic about just how quickly their man can move into the top tier. Before I put him in the poll I sort of assumed that, if he announced, he would quickly move near the top. Now I am not so sure.

It will take more than a splashy announcement to win the eyes of the news reading public (hint to Sen. Kerry). It will take a steady drumbeat of media coverage for Clark to really have a chance of winning this thing and to get that will require an extensive media plan for the Clark rollout. One of the secrets to Dean's success has been that he (Joe Trippi actually) has kept the Dean story fresh and interesting. Clark may make an initial splash. But if he does nothing more than step out and say, "I'm a general, vote for me!" he's going to fizzle out very quickly.

(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 get different results as the numbers are constantly changing. I make absolutely no claim that these numbers have any real meaning.)


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