The Self Made Pundit
Monday, November 18, 2002
GORE’S SUPPORT IS FALLING ... UP: Gore is in a far stronger position for the Democratic presidential nomination than some media reports indicate. A case in point is MSNBC’s misleading treatment of a newly released poll.
MSNBC’s headline for the AP report of this new poll is:
Little Support for Gore in 2004
No clear Democratic front-runner, poll shows
If you read only the headline, you would think that Gore’s support among all Democrats is slipping. You would be wrong. The reverse is true.
The AP article reports on the result of a presidential preference poll of Democratic Party insiders, specifically 312 Democratic National Committee members:
THE POLL of 312 Democratic National Committee members – roughly three-quarters of the committee’’s total membership – suggests the contest is wide open, with none of the top possible candidates standing out as having particularly broad support.
Only 35 percent of those polled said Gore should run again, while 48 percent said he should not and 17 percent were undecided.
Asked who they favor in the 2004 race, 46 percent of respondents said they had no preference. Out of a list of 10 prospective candidates, 19 percent of those polled named Gore as their pick, 18 percent backed Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts and 13 percent named Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.
Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, the outgoing Democratic leader in the House, was chosen by 10 percent. The other possible candidates were in single digits, including Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, the 2000 vice presidential nominee, who garnered 4 percent.
“It looks like a party that’’s desperately seeking fresh faces,” said Charlie Cook, a nonpartisan campaign analyst in Washington.
The views of Democratic Party insiders, however, are not necessarily representative of the rank and file. In fact, recent polls indicate that Gore is actually gaining in support among all Democrats nationwide.
A CNN/Time poll conducted Nov. 13 to 14, shows that an overwhelming 53 percent of Democrats favor Gore as the 2004 nominee over his six most likely challengers (Joe Lieberman, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, Dick Gephardt, John Edwards and Howard Dean). Polls of Democrats in October and early November had found Gore to be the front runner, but with support in the 32 to 36 percent range against such likely challengers.
Given the disastrous approach many Democratic leaders took in timidly avoiding conflict with Bush in the months leading up to midterm elections, their lukewarm feelings towards Gore might not be such a bad omen for the former vice president. As discussed in my Nov. 15 post on “GORE, THE REPUBLICAN PROPHET,” unlike many Democrats, Gore has not been afraid to constructively criticize the Bush administration’s foreign policy failings.
Gore has proven himself to be far superior to most Democratic insiders in discerning what is best for his country and his party. Don’t count Gore out yet.