Finally, A Horse Race
Looks like the Dem contest is shaping up into a Dean/Clark race
Dean has a closer competitor than he did last month, according to the poll.
He has the support of 24 percent of registered Democrats who responded. In December, Dean had 27 percent. The difference, however, is within the poll's margin of error of plus-or-minus 5 percentage points.
Clark had the support of only 12 percent of registered Democrats in December and is now within 5 percentage points of Dean, with 20 percent.
There's been a lot of discussion at Kos
and elsewhere about how this compares to a poll released the day before, and frankly I don't understand enough about the vagaries of polling to comment. Only thing that makes me scratch my head is how so many polls vary so widely, even in the space of a day or two.
Did Clark really surge that much? Given the difference between things like "registered" and "likely" voters, the dates the polls were conducted, the MOE, etc, I'm not so sure this poll tells us anything really new. Dean's still the "frontrunner", whatever that means at this point, and Clark is still doing rather well compared to the career politicians.
While I'm glad to see Dean still leading more or less in the mythical national poll and in early contest states, and I'm happy Clark is also polling well, I don't put a lot of stock in polls. As Dean has been saying, not a single vote has been cast yet. That's why I can't wait until Iowa and NH are out of the way--some real polling will have happened, and we can stop focusing on two states that aren't really all that representative.