President George W. Bush continues to lead all potential Democratic challengers in a national poll released Wednesday.

The Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters found that although former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean increased his lead among the Democratic contenders, Bush easily outdistanced each of the Democrats vying for the party nomination.

Among Democratic voters, Dean had support from 22 percent, followed by Sen. Joe Lieberman with 13 percent, former Gen. Wesley Clark with 12 percent and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and the Rev. Al Sharpton with 8 percent each.

No other candidates topped 5 percent and 18 percent of those surveyed said they were undecided.

In a similar Quinnipiac poll in October, 17 percent of voters favored Clark for the party’s presidential nomination. Dean and Lieberman each were chosen by 13 percent, 12 percent picked Gephardt and 10 percent chose Kerry.

Poll director Maurice Carroll said Dean was surging even before his endorsement from Al Gore.

“Dean has the most commanding lead, except for Sen. Hillary Clinton, or any Democrat in this seesaw pack,” Carroll said.

However, Carroll said that at this point all the Democrats lost to Bush in one-to-one matchups.

Bush was favored 51-40 percent over Dean, 51-40 percent over Lieberman, 51-39 percent over Kerry, 53-38 percent over Gephardt and 50-41 percent over Clark.

Interesting. Not only does Hillary Clinton apparently continue to outpoll the other Democrats, despite not being in the race, but there clearly isn’t a particularly large “Anybody but Bush” movement at the moment. Whomever gets the Democratic nomination–and Dean certainly looks to be the odds on favorite–will automatically gain stature (“gravitas” to use the popular term in 2000) and close the gap a bit.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Sallie says:

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    It might be of interest to you.