Asked whether they would vote for Bush or an unnamed Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, 50 percent of those surveyed said Bush while 41 percent said the Democrat.
Asked to choose among the nine candidates for the Democratic nomination, 31 percent of registered Democrats said they favored Dean, up from 20 percent a week ago and 15 percent in October. No other Democrat reached double digits.
The Post-ABC poll suggests that Dean's recent surge has come disproportionately from Democrats who do not closely identify with their party. In mid-October, Dean claimed the support of one in six Democratic-leaning independents and an equal proportion of party rank and file. Today, he gets significantly more support from independent Democrats (35 percent) than he does from party faithful (26 percent).
As a candidate in the general election, Dean starts well behind Bush in the public's estimation. In an early test of strength, 55 percent of those surveyed said that if the election were held today, they would vote to reelect the president, and 37 percent said they would favor Dean. No other Democrat was tested against Bush in the Post-ABC poll.
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.