Maybe there is something to that "electability" thing
Holy crap. The latest Quinnipiac poll of registered voters has Kerry beating Bush nationally by 51-43. That's better than all of the other Dems, who each trail Bush by a small margin, and is greater than the margin of error, which is 2.8%.
Now, I'm still not convinced that Kerry is The One Who Can Beat Bush, and I'm not going to go into all of the reasons why this doesn't mean very much right now. We'll see how he stands after Rove Inc. trains its guns on him, for one thing. But maybe, just maybe, there is something to the line of reasoning that Kerry has caught fire in the primaries because he is the most "electable".
Of course, national polls don't mean all that much, and they won't mean a thing if Kerry or anyone else can't turn at least one red state blue. But then you read that Bush holds a mere 45-43 lead over the generic Democrat in South freaking Carolina and you have to wonder if maybe things are looking up a bit. (Yeah, I wish they'd taken the next step and asked about specific matchups, too.)
Qunnipiac link via YDB. CBSNews poll link via Pandagon.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 02, 2004 to The making of the President
I wouldn't be at all surprised if Rove and company take a page from Gray Davis' book and see if they can't sink a few bucks into some ad buys aimed at Kerry.
They want to keep the Democratic primary season going as long as they can. Let the Dean, Edwards and Clark campaigns sling mud at Kerry. Let them all battle it out all the while spending their respective war chests while Bush/Cheney (or is it Bush/Guiliani?) keep raking in the money.
Interestingly, the theory among (some) Democrats right now is that a longer primary race will be better, as it's been the main source of exposure for the candidates. Elaine Kamarck spelled this out in yesterday's Chron. Obviously, a mudfest would be bad, but the candidates have aimed a lot of fire at the President, and I don't think it's unrelated that his approval rating has gone down lately. A Gray Davis-style attack could certainly be tried and could certainly be effective during a drawn-out primary, but I lean in the direction that says that what the GOP wants is a known opponent ASAP.