In the polls


Geraldine Sealey
February 9, 2004 10:12PM (UTC)

In John Zogby's latest analysis of survey data from Tennessee and Virginia (Feb. 10), the story's the same in both states. Kerry's romping, he says. In Tennessee: "Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is set to romp over other Democratic contenders with 45 percent of support among likely primary voters, on the eve of Tennessee's Democratic primary." Second place is a race between John Edwards with 21 percent and Wesley Clark with 19 percent. Howard Dean is polling at 5 percent.

And Virginia: "Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is set to romp over other Democratic contenders in the Old Dominion state with 47 percent of support among likely primary voters, on the eve of Virginia's Democratic primary." Edwards has 24 percent, Clark 11 percent and Dean 10 percent.

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Zogby adds: "This year's frontloaded primary schedule appears to have worked well in favor of the front-runner -- as it apparently was intended to There has not been enough time for the challengers to raise enough money, spend time on the ground, or build upon free publicity because they could not cover enough states in a short time span. With all of this said, Kerry keeps on rolling."

Democrats aren't alone in questioning President Bush's National Guard service. A new Time magazine poll says 60 percent of Americans think Kerry did his duty for the country during the Vietnam War. In contrast, 39 percent said Bush did his duty.

The National Annenberg Election Survey shows Bush's approval ratings began dropping over a five day period in January when news reports were "dominated by stories about the conclusion of David A. Kay, the C.I.A.' s former chief weapons inspector, that Iraq lacked [weapons of mass destruction] when war began." From the survey press release: "For months more Americans have said it was worth going to war in Iraq than said it was not worth it, but in those five days 49 percent said it was not worth it while 46 percent said it was. As the election year began, 60 percent of the public approved of how Bush was handling his job as president, a level that was maintained through January 20, when he gave the State of the Union address. Over the next five days approval rose to 64 percent, but from January 26 through 31 it fell to 54 percent."

(Trivia alert: If you want more information about the Annenberg poll, the center offers a contact person, office and cell phone numbers included. Often, such a contact is a 21-year-old intern poised to forward inquiries to senior staff. Not at Annenberg. The contact is that "major league asshole" Adam Clymer, now political director for the Annenberg survey. His bio reads: "One of America's most respected journalists, Clymer covered politics for four decades, most recently as Washington Correspondent for the New York Times." He was also, of course, famously and publicly derided -- "big time" -- by Bush and Cheney in a microphone mishap on the 2000 campaign trail.)


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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