Saturday, October 18, 2003

Undecided is winning

A new FOX poll is out (courtesy the left coaster) and, while it still shows Wesley Clark in the lead, it indicates a serious drop in support for him from their last poll:

    10/14-15 9/23-24 9/9-10    
    % % %    
  Wesley Clark 13 20 n/a    
  Howard Dean 12 13 14    
  Joe Lieberman 11 9 16    
  John Kerry 10 10 17    
  Dick Gephardt 9 9 6    
  John Edwards 3 5 4    
  Carol Moseley Braun 3 2 3    
  Al Sharpton 2 2 2    
  Dennis Kucinich 2 1 2    
  Someone else/Other (vol.) - 5 7    
  Wouldn't vote (vol.)/Not sure 35 21 26    
  Bob Graham n/a 2 3

Does this mean Clark is stumbling? Probably not. I suspect it is more a case that his initial jump in the national polls reflected a sense of uncertainty amongst Democratic voters. None of the previous candidates has ever polled as high as "Undecided/Someone Else". Many were growing disenchanted with the choices available. So when Clark jumped into the race a fresh face, combined with an appealing resume, brought a significant number of people on board. But, as Clark has started to assert himself in the field, and critical stories about him have come out, some of those early grabbers may be thinking that they jumped the gun.

In other words, Mr. Undecided still holds the greatest appeal for the most voters right now. Winning them over will be the real challenge of the next three months.

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