Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Saturday, December 13, 2003
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Interesting Semi-Meaningless Poll

Here are the results of the Democratic Insiders Poll from the National Journal. It's a weekly survey of 50 "political professionals" on who they think to win the Dem nomination:

  1. Howard Dean - Points: 446 (46 first-place votes); Previous Week: 1 - 438 (40)

    Having it all. "With Gore and union support combined with Meetups, Dean is both an insider and outsider," said one Insider. "The Gore endorsement gives him the 'winner' status that he wanted -- now watch the governors get on board," said another. "Money, unions -- he goes after everything everyone tells him he can't have," said a third. "They said he would never get establishment support, but he just got it. 'They' also say he can't beat Bush."

  2. Dick Gephardt- 379 (0); Previous Week: 2 - 384 (5)

  3. Wesley Clark - 339 (2); Previous Week: 3 - 318 (3)

  4. John Edwards - 292 (2); Previous Week: 5 - 294 (2)

  5. John Kerry - 284 (0); Previous Week: 4 - 310 (0)

(via Michael D's dKos diary)

Here's how the scoring works:

Participants rank the nine announced Democratic presidential candidates from 9 to 1 -- assigning 9 to the contender who has the best chance of eventually winning the party's nomination, 8 to the candidate with the second-best chance, and on down to 1 for the least promising contender.

Interesting to note that Lieberman was in 6th, followed by the rest of the pack. I didn't feel like putting all the scores up, and it made me happy to leave Revoltin' Joe* off my list. He got zero (0) first place votes. Sayeth one insider: The only thing going for him now is sympathy because of Gore's rudeness in not calling him.** Ouch!

This doesn't reflect who these insiders want to win--they're just handicapping the horse race based on their professional judgement. Who are these insiders? People who have endorsed candidates, run their campaigns, etc. I guess it's sobering/telling to think that many believe that their own campaign isn't going to win.

So on the whole this seems to be more good news for Howie. It's not something that will help him achieve wider appeal like a big endorsement, but it's indicative of the emerging wisdom that he will win the nomination. While this makes me feel good about his chances, I am reminded of what one of my favorite philosophers, Bertrand Russell, said: Even when all the experts agree, they may well be mistaken.

We still have a lot of work to do, so let's stay vigilant. You have the power!


* Sorry, a little guilty pleasure, but I'm still trying to keep my pledge to the best of my ability.

** One other aside about Lieberman: I heard him claim on NPR last night that Gore's endorsement has sparked his largest fundraising week ever, and that somehow magically it shows that Lieberman is The Alternative to Dean. How? Well, see, Howie's on the extreme left, there's a bunch of candidates being drawn more to the left, and then there's Joe courageously holding the center. Get it? Dean on one end, Lieberman on the other. QED. 

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