It’s Dean’s to Lose

Sept. 2, 2003 — Washington ( — One would think that Sen. Joseph Lieberman has a lot to celebrate with the Gallup Poll numbers we've seen strewn all over CNN (see the appendix below).

But wait…


About That Gallup Poll…

Two-thirds of Democrats are not following the presidential horse race at all this back-to-school week. So let's look at Gallup's poll numbers today (September 2nd 2003):

Name Identification is a test of how many voters believe they know something about each candidate. Lieberman, of course, will have the highest Name ID scores. After all, he was the most recent Democratic candidate for vice president. Gephardt was also a previous presidential candidate, and Kerry is a well-covered US Senator. It's Dean, a relative nobody at the start of this fully packed race, that shows the momentum – and it is Dean one should watch.

1. Lieberman 73%
2. Gephardt 64%
3. Kerry 56%
4. Dean 43%
5. Edwards 38%

"Who would you vote for?" is the "horse race" or "vote-for" question — and it means nothing, except for Gephardt. As you can see from the "Name ID" question, he has high name identification. The results shown below indicate people know him but won't vote for him — bad news for Dick.

1. Lieberman 23%
2. Gephardt 13%
3. Dean 12%
4. Kerry 10%

Take a look at the difference between his "name ID" and "vote-for" numbers. It's extreme – and that's a bad sign. It means that of the 73% of American Democrats who know him — fewer than one-third — would vote for him amid the other choices.

That's very bad news.

And so it begins.

Today, the day after the Labor Day holiday weekend, is the traditional big kick time for incumbents and especially challenger hopefuls.

So why is America yawning?

Maybe because, aside from former Vermont governor Howard Dean, blah-blah-speak is the action of the day. The rest of the Democrat presidential hopefuls are trying to be George W. Bush as much as politically possible – plying the old Democratic Leadership Council shtick that worked so well for Bill Clinton but probably won't work again.

Leading the Bush Clone Pack according to Gallup is Lieberman, who talks more and more like a moderate Republican every day but is paying for it big time — and in the end, Lieberman will have to abandon this strategy in order to compete.

Howard Dean is the proof of it. In other polls he's beating the rest of the Dems by considerable margins, and no one seems close to catching up — especially on the fundraising and news coverage side. Dean is poised to collect at least three times the campaign funds as the next in line, leaving Massachusetts Senator John Kerry the only candidate to possibly match him — with private family wealth.

Here's what's happening on the campaign trail.

— George W. Bush —

The Bushies are jittery.

Although the President seems to be able to wring money from a stone, and might raise as much as $300 million before it's all over, his numbers are slipping. If economic news and the situation in Iraq don't improve, watch for a big turndown as Thanksgiving approaches. Remember, too many Americans are suffering — with less to give thanks for under Bush's nearly frenetic appeasement of big business and private wealthy contributors.

Job losses — especially those due to a shift of labor to other countries and trade issues which cripple American manufacturers — have hurt Bush, with three million Americans on unemployment lines. The biggest joke to emerge from the Bush campaign came this past weekend when the President told us he was creating an Assistant Secretary at Commerce to find a solution for US manufacturing problems.

Yeah, right. One can only consult the Magic Eight Ball to see what mystery will intervene to regain millions of jobs and open thousands of closed factories across the rust belt.

Mr. Bush, God bless him, is still putting us all on with his perpetual claim that his tax cuts will spur the lackluster economy. He's being helped by CNBC, MSNBC and CNNfn – where, if one tunes in, one might think that the Internet "bubble" is about to reinflate.

And Bush — even as a near civil war is breaking in Iraq — pretends that plans are moving along just fine, and that his useless "roadmap to peace" between Israel and the Palestinians will somehow be reinvigorated from above.

Meanwhile, Bush is presiding over the filthying-up of our already dirty air and handing out mining licenses in our national parks like cotton candy, setting himself up as an oversize target for conservationists and other greenies — who are seething already about Kyoto, the push for ANWR drilling, and other Bush Blunders for Cash made over the past two plus years.

Meanwhile Bush and his buddies are sticking it to the poor with runaway prices on natural gas, gasoline for their automobiles, and electricity rates – expenses which rival the food bills for far too many families.

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