Clinton Still Ahead, Obama Still Well-Positioned
by Chris Bowers, Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 02:15:54 PM EST
Clinton: 43 (33)
Obama: 15 (12)
Edwards: 12 (8)
Gore: 11 (11)
Biden: 4 (2)
Richardson: 2 (1)
Vilsack: -- (2)
Other: 2 (3)
Don't Know: 9 (20)
Now, there is no way that this large shift out of "Don't Know" has actually resulted in any hard new "hard" supporters for any candidate. We are still more than a year from most people having a chance to vote in the primary or caucus in their home state. Probably 80%, or more, of everyone's support is "soft" at this point--the events of the last month haven't sold anyone. However, this does back up what I said earlier in the week: Clinton's advantage at this point is not comparable to Lieberman's in 2003. As Joe Trippi noted in the comments to that post, it is more like Mondale's lead in 1983, or Gore's lead in 1999. As was the case with Mondale and Gore at this point in their respective campaigns, Hillary Clinton has the dominant advantage of long being, in the eyes of the base, the "heir apparent." Lieberman was never the prumptive heir, both because most Democrats thought Gore actually won and that he was going to run again in 2004. Gore was still the "heir apparent" in late 2002. Also, Democrats think Lieberman is a melting, preachy, egotistical, Republican-loving wienie, as the Democratic voters of Connecticut showed last August.
It is going to take a very impressive campaign to topple her. Once again, the Fox poll shows that Obama is best positioned to do that (disclosure: I am now undecided between Edwards and Obama). The poll included the following open-ended question:
People are intrigued by Obama, and willing to consider him. I am one of those people. The opportunity is there for him. Can he step up and seize the day?