Google News Democratic Primary Poll for 9/12/2003
|This Week (9/12)||Last Week (9/5)|
|9||Carol Moseley Braun||1210||4.1%||-0.5||9||1080||4.5%|
I think it's pretty much official now: Howard Dean, at least in the eyes of the media, is the front-runner. Dean has had a huge boost in his share points this past week. Of course, that's not all positive for Dean since some of that was generated by the controversies over his comments about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and rising questions about his "flip-flops". Still, his 21.2% is the highest media share registered so far in the poll (the previous high was a 20.1% for John Kerry back on July 16th). I don't think any candidate would prefer to be a struggling unknown vs. the front-runner fighting off attacks from all sides.
And speaking of John Kerry: his campaign re-launch has so far been a big fat goose egg. He is in real danger of being written off by the establishment press as an "also ran". If he doesn't do something soon I think his share numbers will drop down to the 2nd tier level.
The remainder of the field is pretty much holding steady where it is. None of them have found a way to burst out of the media doldrums yet.
Wesley Clark's numbers have been moving steadily up. I predict they will see a significant blip next week as the impact of the Dean/Clark rumors starts to be felt and as the anticipation of his likely announcement builds. He could, in the next two weeks, jump ahead of most of the rest of the pack, at least temporarily. But I still maintain that if he doesn't have a sustained campaign plan post-announcement his media share will drop back into the 2nd tier and he will end up being a flash in the pan.
This campaign is still Dean's to lose. But let there be no doubt about it, Dean could still lose it. The next few weeks will be very telling on his long term viability. If he can withstand the slings and arrows of front-runner status relatively unscathed then he will ease a lot of people's concerns about his fitness to be the candidate. If not, then Clark will have a real shot of bursting the Dean bubble and making a real name for himself.
The following is a chart of the Google News Media Share over the last few months.
(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.)