For the first time, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is leading the Democratic field for the 2004 presidential elections, according to a new tracking poll taken by InsiderAdvantage in conjunction with MWI Research.
Of respondents who said they plan to vote next year for someone other than President Bush, 15.6 percent indicated they would vote for Dean. This nearly doubles his percentage of 8.6 from the previous month’s poll.
The poll was conducted August 6-9. It sampled 500 Americans and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
"This is an amazing change of circumstances," said Matt Towery, a Creators Syndicate columnist and co-founder of InsiderAdvantage. "Since the inception of our cumulative polling on this race, Joe Lieberman had led the Democratic field of candidates, usually by a comfortable margin.
But Dean's powerful Internet-based campaign, coupled with the sudden burst of publicity he has received from the national media, has catapulted him to the front of the pack."
Towery, in a special column today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, termed Dean’s populist style and use of the Internet as “electro-pop” politics.
InsiderAdvantage is conducting a running, monthly tracking poll of the 2004 presidential race and has polled more than 6,000 Americans since early January. The company is known for its accurate polling of political races in the 2002 elections.
Dean, who recently made the cover of three national newsweeklies, appears to be the one challenger to George W. Bush who is putting a new spin on the time-tested strategy of populism. One might even call Dean's style, with its heavy emphasis on the Internet, "electro-pop."
Rather than pandering to traditional Democratic power groups such as trial attorneys, unions or urban bosses, he is focusing on rural America and the thousands of towns and smaller cities that serve it as centers of daily life. Small-town life predominates Vermont, and Dean is promising to help restore rural communities.
He has tied positions on virtually every issue -- from the economy to the environment -- to the development and growth of rural areas, where he contends that President Bush's policies had little positive impact.
For many people in less densely populated areas, the Web has become a primary tool, from shopping to entertainment. So it may be that Dean's "small-town" thinking was the genesis of his campaign's celebrated strategy to have Web-using supporters forward campaign literature to others.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.