The Gore Problem
Charles Franklin discusses an interesting debate among pollsters and those who analyze polls as to “What To Do About Al Gore?”
Specifically, despite Gore’s repeated categorical denials that he’s running in 2008 — which I believe, incidentally — many national polls include him. Gore typically runs in third place — behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama but ahead of John Edwards — in those polls, presumably taking away “support” for candidates who are likely in the race. It also makes comparisons between polls even more difficult. Franklin explains why all the options are poor.
It’s really academic at this stage of the campaign, since we essentially have a two-way race for the Democratic nomination and, ultimately, Gore will either run or not. It’s really only problematic for the spectator sport aspect of the race.
Incidentally, Franklin doesn’t see the inclusion of Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich in GOP surveys particularly problematic, since they have at least indicated they are “considering” running. (And, indeed, Thompson’s campaign is well underway all but officially.)