Meaningless 2008 Presidential Polls
Anonymous Liberal advises us not to take the polls showing John McCain and Giuliani battling it out for the GOP nomination and Barack Obama closing in on Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side too seriously, correctly terming them “all but meaningless.”
He cites a Fox News poll from January 2003 on the Democratic nominees:
In fact, throughout 2002 and much of 2003, Joe Lieberman led in virtually every poll. Did that mean that Lieberman had some deep base of support among Democratic primary voters? Of course not. All this reflected was the fact that Lieberman had the highest name recognition of anyone in the field by virtue of his status as the Vice Presidential candidate in 2000.
Most primary voters don’t really start to pay attention until much closer to the election. They don’t know who many of the candidates are, and even when they do, they often don’t know much about them.
Quite so. While Giuliani, McCain, and Clinton have all been on the political scene quite a long time and have many advantages as a result, they also have a lot of baggage that their opponents will remind us of come primary season.
Obama, while an impressive fellow, is essentially a empty suit at this stage comparable to Colin Powell at the height of his presidential draft boomlet. He’s a charismatic black man with excellent oratorical skills who has taken nary a stance on any of the polarizing public policy issues that divide the country. That means people can look at him as an anti-politician and imbue him with exactly their own public policy views. A primary campaign will force him to take positions, disappointing just about everyone.