Monday, May 03, 2004

I am getting frustrated with people who are already starting to say that Kerry is losing the campaign.


With the air gushing out of John Kerry's balloon, it may be only a matter of time until political insiders in Washington face the dread reality that the junior senator from Massachusetts doesn't have what it takes to win and has got to go. As arrogant and out of it as the Democratic political establishment is, even these pols know the party's got to have someone to run against George Bush. They can't exactly expect the president to self-destruct into thin air.


As I've noted before, this campaign has just really begun in earnest. But, just to show you how inaccurate polls taken at this point can be as predictors of the general election result, I thought we could look at the last time an incumbent Bush was challenged by a Democrat.


Remember, in 1992, when Bill Clinton won in a landslide? Well, this is how he was doing in late April and early May:


April 25 1992
The Guardian
DEMOCRAT ANXIETIES RESURFACE AFTER POLL SETBACK FOR CLINTON

BILL Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner, was forced on to the defensive again yesterday as he headed for yet another victory at the polls, in Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary.

A new survey, meanwhile, reversing previous findings, found voters to be more confident about President Bush running the economy than they were about Mr Clinton being in charge.

Discontent with Mr Bush's economic performance had been considered one of the Democrats' strongest cards but the economy has recently shown signs of recovery. The Gallup poll showed Mr Bush beating Mr Clinton, the governor of Arkansas, in a national two-way race by a widening margin of 50 per cent to 34 per cent.

In a wounding attack, the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, Robert Casey, said he had serious doubts about Mr Clinton's electability and urged the party to consider enlisting another candidate at its July convention. "We have to recognise reality. The primary process is not producing someone who has a good crack at winning in November," Mr Casey said.

Noting the low primary turnouts, he said: "We've got a tiny minority of Democrats voting for Bill Clinton, and he's winning every race without generating any sparks, any enthusiasm, any momentum."


Who would ever be enthusiastic about Clinton anyway?


Clinton, Perot pull even with Bush in voter preference poll,
The Boston Globe May 5, 1992

In the new poll, which included 1,301 interviews with likely voters from Thursday through Sunday nights, Bush was favored by 33 percent, and Clinton and Perot by 30 percent each. Seven percent were undecided. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

A week ago, a New York Times/CBS News poll found Bush leading with 38 percent to 28 percent for Clinton and 23 percent for Perot. The Newsweek poll, completed on Friday, had Bush at 38 percent, Clinton at 27 and Perot at 22.

When Bush was matched against only Clinton by Times Mirror, he led by 46 to 43 percent, down from 50 to 43 percent a month ago.


So just sit back, relax (but not too much), and give Kerry a chance.

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