51-46, That's His Number: Isn't it almost shocking, after all the good news for Bush (Saddam, Libya, promising jobs outlook) and Dean's ridiculous Saddam's-capture-doesn't-make-us-safer statement, that Bush only defeats Dean in the Time/CNN poll by 51-46? Is the press burying the lede (Bush's beatability) on this story because they don't quite believe it? ... Update: TNR says the poll shows "the country is more polarized than it's been in a long, long time," a common diagnosis. (In the Dukakis-Bush 1988 race, to which many are comparing this year's election, the polls were significantly more volatile, if I remember.) But really the CNN poll only confirms polarization on one side--i.e. that Dean's support can't be dramatically dented even by bad news. We don't know, really, if Bush's support is similarly resilient should he hit a bad patch. And you can't fall too far below 51% and still win. ... Update: Many readers have noted that other polls show a wider Bush lead. But they are also older polls. One possible distinguishing feature of the Time/CNN poll, though, is that it attempted to count only "likely" voters, which can't be very easy to do accurately this far in advance of the actual election. (At this stage, polls more commonly survey all "registered voters" without trying to filter out those who aren't "likely" to vote.) .... John Ellis says look at the state-by-state polls. ... 2:35 A.M.
Saturday, January 3, 2004
Lehane begins to work his magic for Clark! In November, Wesley Clark aide Matt Bennett touted an expected fourth-quarter Clark fundraising total of $12 million. ABC News reported:
As for skeptics, Bennett says, "They're welcome to be skeptical. But the fact is, we wouldn't put this out there if it wasn't true."
In December, Clark communications strategist Chris Lehane actually seemed to up the ante a bit in the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette:
Lehane said the campaign will raise $12 million to $13 million in the fund-raising quarter ending Dec. 31.
In the event, Clark's fourth-quarter fundraising total was $10 million--an impressive showing which, thanks to the characteristic counterproductive overspinning of Lehane & Co., now seems like a disappointment. You can't pay enough for that kind of sophisticated communications strategizing! Ask Al Gore. ...
Thanks to Polipundit, who is all over this story. ...
P.S.: Note that Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi, unlike Lehane, tamped down expectations by giving the Post-Gazette a number of $10 million for the quarter. If Dean had raised $10.5 million, Trippi could have declared victory. It turned out he raised $15 million. 4:46 P.M.
Friday, January 2, 2004