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January 21, 2007

2004 Flashback

By Ezra

With all the candidates announcing and the polls coming fast and furious, it seems useful to offer a survey from approximately this moment in 2004 and remind folks of its accuracy:

ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Jan. 16-20, 2003. N=1,133 adults nationwide. Results shown are among Democrats and independents who lean Democratic. Fieldwork by TNS Intersearch.

"Suppose your state holds a Democratic primary or caucus for president in 2004 and the candidates are [see below] -- for whom would you vote?" If "Don't know": "Which one are you leaning toward right now?"

Joseph Lieberman 27
Richard Gephardt 14
John Edwards 11
John Kerry 10
Al Sharpton 7
Howard Dean 3
Other (vol.) 1
None (vol.) 4
Don't know 24
Tom Daschle n/a

Lieberman bombed. Gephardt was decapitated in Iowa. Edwards came from behind to net the VP slot. Kerry, in fourth place here, won the nomination. Al Sharpton got nearly no votes. And Howard Dean became, for a significant period of time, the prohibitive frontrunner.

All of which is to say, calm down.

January 21, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

There's a unified explanation for many of the divergences between that poll and the eventual results -- the Iraq War.

Lieberman got caught on completely the wrong side of that issue, and Gephardt, having orchestrated the surrender to Bush, wasn't well-positioned either. Dean was on the right side of the issue, and Kerry profited from the war hero electability arguments that were popular in January 2000. Edwards was more or less unaffected.

So if we get a new Iraq-sized issue between now and the Iowa caucuses, look for an equivalent amount of scrambling. I think we won't, though.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Jan 21, 2007 3:59:43 AM

All of which is to say, calm down.

Good advice, but Neil is singing the siren song ...

Neil, with things as close and tenuous as they are now, something smaller than Iraq may have just as much effect. Something like a butterfly wing-beat over the coast of China, for example.

Posted by: Sanpete | Jan 21, 2007 4:20:30 AM

And a February 1991 Gallup Poll had Mario Cuomo, Jesse Jackson, Richard Gephardt, George McGovern, Lloyd Bentsen, Al Gore, Sam Nunn, Jay Rockefeller, Bill Bradley, and George Mitchell ahead of Bill Clinton.

Something always comes up.

Posted by: Royko | Jan 21, 2007 6:49:37 AM

Why does the campaign start so fucking early? Why not wait 8 months or so? I'm already sick of it.

Posted by: merlallen | Jan 21, 2007 12:38:27 PM

Is it time to start polling on 2112? Clinton may lose in 2008, and McCain may be dead. Obama may have gone into a monastery. Edwards may be working for GE as General Counsel.

Ezra for Pres in 2112! (I've got polls to show that's gonna be a winner).

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jan 21, 2007 3:02:48 PM

Who's excited?

-principal poop

Posted by: ice weasel | Jan 21, 2007 3:16:38 PM

Ezra for Pres in 2112!

We'll have to amend the Constitution in the mean time.

Posted by: Sanpete | Jan 21, 2007 3:18:30 PM

Why? Ezra's not a furriner, is he? Is there something in the Constitution disqualifying 128-year-olds from being president?

Posted by: KCinDC | Jan 21, 2007 6:58:43 PM

Well, he is from California, which by then I'm told will be part of Mexico.

OK, actually didn't even notice that digit that would put us 100 years further out than 2012.

Posted by: Sanpete | Jan 21, 2007 7:30:12 PM

I am genuinely shocked that Lieberman was ever ahead in any poll. My memory falsely remembered him as always having been a longshot.
I am also shocked that George McGovern was considered by anyone a viable presidential candidate for 1992. Had he actually been making noises in that direction, or was it just a flight of fancy on the part of the pollster? (The fact that he came in fourth is even weirder.)
Also: What did all ten people listed ahead of Clinton have in common? None of them actually ran for the presidency that year! Clinton's actual opponents -Tsongas, Kerrey, Harkin, Brown, and (briefly) Wilder - must have ranked even lower in that poll. In contrast, we seem to have firm commitals this year from all potential major candidates.

Posted by: James Kabala | Jan 21, 2007 11:00:31 PM

we seem to have firm commitals this year from all potential major candidates

Except Gore. Maybe you've taken him at his word.

Posted by: Sanpete | Jan 22, 2007 12:25:39 AM

Ezra for Pres in 2112!

Here's hoping you're not nominating a dead man.

Posted by: matt | Jan 22, 2007 2:50:22 PM

I just stumbled across this old post and see that I also failed to foresee the rise of Fred Thompson.

Posted by: James Kabala | Sep 16, 2007 11:59:23 PM

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Posted by: JUDY | Sep 26, 2007 4:35:06 AM

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