Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Numbers and Notes – Money Isn’t Everything Edition

So lots of people raised lots of money, but what does it really mean?
1) Democrats are much more excited than Republicans. Dems raised $80 mil, Repubs raised $50 mil – this is unprecedented and says something about who cares more about their candidates and maybe about the ’08 race.
2) John McCain is a crappy fund raiser. Whether a personal distaste for the activity is the key, or a conservative distaste for McCain is the key, his numbers looked bad, and he just can’t afford that.
3) Where are all the Hillary supporters? Clinton supposedly has a 250,000 name list to draw from, yet collected money from only 50, 000. Obama collected money from 100,000 donors, so while they raised about the same amount of money, Obama has more people to return to who already have a vested interest in his success. Edwards raised half the money of the two of them, but should stick around with his $12-13 mil.
4) Mitt Romney can raise money – especially from Mormons. Now he needs to spend it to get people to vote for him, which they seem disinclined to do.
5) Except for the big six, the others don’t have money or poll support. Things can change, but how to make that happen? Remember, we are only ten months from this race being virtually over. The clock is ticking on all their campaigns.


The latest Gallup polls reflect very little movement. On the Democratic side, Clinton is still on top, with 38% to Obama’s 19, with Edwards at 15 and Gore at 14. Going back to January, Hillary’s leads have been: 11, 19, 14, 13, 19 – so we’re now back where we were two months ago. In fact, the numbers on individual candidates have been remarkably consistent – Obama has polled 18, 21, 22, 22, 19, Edwards 13, 13, 9, 14, 15, and Gore got a bump with the Oscars, but has lost 3 points since then, which, like all the other differences, is margin of error stuff.
Clearly things have settled in for the long haul – or has it? Rasmussen has very different numbers, with Hillary’s leads over the same timeframe looking like this: 7, 16, 8, 12, 5. Now there is less consistency there, but since 2/12 Rasmussen has not had Obama below 23%, with him currently at 29.. Edwards’ numbers seem to be in sync with Gallup. Even more interesting, when Gallup removes Gore from polling (as Rasmussen has), Clinton’s lead gets bigger, at 43-19 – very curious indeed. The latest Cook/RT Strategies poll has similar numbers to Gallup, so maybe Rasmussen is off here.
There’s even good news for Edwrads, as Rasmussen has him beating Giuliani by 6 head-to-head, while Clinton and Obama run even.
One more thing has to be noted – Al Gore has started a diet.


Over on the GOP side, there’s disagreement between Gallup and Rasmussen regarding Rudy. Gallup, after showing him slipping two weeks ago, gives him a 38-16 lead over McCain in this poll. Giuliani’s Gallup leads have been: 4, 16, 24, 9, 22. Rasmussen tracks over the same points somewhat differently: 8, 14, 15, 20, 11. The addition of Fred Thompson in the Rasmussen poll has clearly caused the latest drop, as Thompson drew 14% of the vote while Rudy lost 7-10 points. That would seem to indicate the expected softness of Rudy’s support, as well as the huge opening we all think exists for a new conservative candidate on the GOP side. Gallup has Thompson at 10%, which is still more than Mitt Romney, who shows up with a puny 6%. Rasmussen has Mitt at 12, but it’s the first time he’s been over 10 and looks like a blip to me.
Make no mistake, If Thompson gets into this race, he will be a serious threat. He has clear conservative credentials. His experience in the Senate gives him some level of heft. He’s experienced – having played a President in the movies...which to most people is just as good as being President (which, with Law and Order, also will negate Giuliani’s edge as a crime fighter). He also looks and sounds like a President, which also won’t hurt. I know, this whole paragraph has been a sad commentary on the American electorate, but do any of you doubt its accuracy?


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