The Wisdom of the Crowds #6
I think that, for the first time in many years, the Democratic Party have three good potential candidates for the presidency in Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. One advantage of having three serious and able candidates is that whoever gets the nomination will have proved themselves against tough opposition and therefore be well placed to take on the Republicans. But a poll in Newsweek shows the scale of the challenge which the Democratic candidate will face.
When asked by Newsweek whether, in general, people would prefer to see a Democrat or Republican elected as the next president, 49% say Democrat, and 28% say Republican (19% don't know). But in an election against Rudy Giuliani or John McCain, Clinton, Obama and Edwards poll between 45% and 48%, while the Republicans get between 43% and 48%. Polls by Rasmussen have McCain and Giuliani leading any of the leading Democrats by between 5% and 11%. In each case, there are a lot of people who identify with the Democrats, but who aren't at the moment planning to vote for them come the Presidential elections. It'll be interesting to see how the Democrat 'stars' deal with this problem over the next couple of years.