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Iowa Poll Suggests
No Room for Gore

In most national polls that list Al Gore as a potential presidential candidate, the former vice president registers in the double digits. But is there room for Gore in crucial early states where the campaign among already-declared candidates is fully underway?

The Washington Post-ABC News Iowa poll released today suggests that few likely Democratic caucus-goers are clamoring for more choices. Nearly nine in 10 likely voters are satisfied with the Gore-free field of candidates; more than half say they are "very satisfied."

Further, just 6 percent have not picked a current favorite from among the declared candidates. And most who express a preference are "strongly" behind their chosen contender. A lot can change over the next five and a half months, but at this stage it's more likely that Iowa voters would shift among the current candidates than seek out a new, albeit familiar choice.

--Jennifer Agiesta

By Post Editor  |  August 3, 2007; 3:06 PM ET
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WE already have a Southerner in the race that can and WILL WIN next Nov. John Edwards can win several southern states and if folks that really want change they will make sure he is at the TOP of the ticket this time instead of the number two slot. Vote and have your friends vote for the only Democrat running that can win in places like Va, NC, Ark, and Tenn, where Gore failed to carry in 2000. We just can't take a chance on this one, we have way too much to lose. My vote goes to Edwards in the SC Dem primary on Jan. 29th, 2008.

Posted by: southerndemocrat | August 6, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

In fact, Jennifer Agiesta is a polling analyst. That said, let's look at the poll, the details of which are published at . Ms. Agiesta's conclusions are arguable, but they may not be robustly supported by the poll's methodology. First and foremost, the poll does not have a question including Gore as an alternate choice. That would have been a far better basis for evaluating Gore's prospects than trying to tease inferences out of the questions that were asked. As some posters have noted, in other states, when such a question has been asked, there have been some pretty impressive numbers for Gore.

Even looking at what was asked, you can make an inferential argument in Gore's favor at least as strong as those put forth by Ms. Agiesta. Note that 10% of respondents say they are "very" or "somewhat" dissatisfied with the current field. (I would like to see the crosstab between that 10% and the NOTA/no opinion choices in the candidate choice questions.) When you combine that 10% with the 36% who identify themselves as only "somewhat" satisfied with existing choices, there is a lot of room for Gore to work in, especially in what is now a competitive three-candidate field in the range of 26-27%.

I would particularly like to see Ms. Agiesta's thoughts on the desirability of polling a field that explicitly included Gore in Iowa.

Posted by: noleslaw | August 5, 2007 12:39 AM | Report abuse

And a couple of months ago 20% preferred General Wes Clark. Not an option on your poll, right? What's your reason for that?

Posted by: EllenBedlington | August 4, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

And a friend just sent me an interesting observation that was done after that New Hampshire Poll that showed Al Gore winning there too. Here is the info.

Gore in NH: 12% or 32%?

The curious poll result du jour: As we just posted, a new 7 News/ Suffolk University poll of New Hampshire voters shows Hillary Clinton leading the Democratic primary contest (with 37%) vote with Barack Obama (19%) and the rest of the pack trailing far behind. Yet according to the release:

Twenty-nine percent of Clinton voters would switch to Gore if he announced for president, and when all of the switches from other Democratic candidates were recalculated, Gore would defeat Clinton. In total, 32 percent of Democratic voters would support Gore over the candidate they are currently leaning toward.

It shows that it depends on how they ask about Al Gore, especially because he isn't a declared candidate that gets lower numbers, but yet very strong-especially because he isn't a declared candidate.

"That result conflicts with other recent New Hampshire surveys that include Gore in their trial heat vote question and show him with nowhere near that level of support. The recent CNN/WMUR/University of New Hampshire survey had Gore at 12%. Other New Hampshire polls conducted since March showed Gores support varying between 8% and 15%. So what's up with this new result?

The answer is almost certainly in the very different ways these pollsters measure support for Gore. Let's start with the two-part question asked by the CNN/WMUR/UNH poll, which is also the approach taken by most other pollsters:

Q7. I'm going to read you the names of the candidates who are either running or considering running for the Democratic nomination. If the Democratic primary for president were held today, which of the following would you support for the Democratic nomination -- Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Al Gore, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson or someone else?

Q8. Who is your second choice?

Again, on this survey conducted June 6-10, only 12% support Gore, while Clinton leads with 36%, to 22% for Obama, 12% for Edwards, 10% Richardson and all other candidates in the low single digits. They recalculated using the second choices of Gore voters, and showed Clinton receiving 39%, Obama 24%, Edwards 11% and Richardson 10% without Gore in the race.

Now consider the very different two-part question taken by the 7 News/ Suffolk University poll (PDF):

Q14. The following eight Democratic candidates may seek the Democratic nomination. Listed alphabetically on your ballot, they are: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson... For whom would you vote or toward whom would you lean at this time?

Q15. If Al Gore were to enter the presidential race, would you support him over the candidate you are currently leaning towards?

Clinton's lead over (37% to 19% for Obama) on the first 7 News/Suffolk University question is very similar to her lead (39% to 24%) on the recalculated vote without Gore on the CNN/WMUR/UNH poll. Yet despite the relatively small sample size of Democrats in each poll (n=232 for the former, n=309 for the latter), the difference in Gore's support is highly statistically significant.

So while some other minor variation in methodology may explain some of the disparity, the most likely culprit is the very different way the pollsters measure Al Gore's potential support:"

full post here

"Superman wears Al Gore pajamas"

Posted by: ldp | August 4, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Or, like in the recent Idaho Poll(as also the New Hampshire Poll), when Al Gore is included, he did not receive the 15-20 percent, HE RECEIVED OVER 30 PERCENT and was THE CLEAR WINNER.

"The results are in
Poll: Idahoans Deem Mitt Fit and Want More Gore

By J. Gelband, 7-18-07

This just in: Results from a poll of Idahoans indicate that the state's voters prefer former Vice President Al Gore and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for president in 2008.

Of the Idaho Democrats polled, 31 percent indicated they would vote for Gore. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama came in second and third, respectively, with 23 percent and 22 percent.

Senator John Edwards received 10 percent, "another candidate" got 6 percent and 8 percent were still undecided."

Time for a COOL change

Posted by: ldp | August 4, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Iowans are a smart bunch. Given the option to vote for the most qualified man or woman, many Iowans would of course defect from the candidate upon whom they have currently settled.

Your post suggests to me that Iowans are somehow especially susceptible to excess campaigning and repeated exposure. To the contrary, I suspect they are far less susceptible!

Posted by: mpaninop | August 4, 2007 8:04 AM | Report abuse

This is a simplistic post.

When Gore is included in the polls although he is not actively running he gets 15-20% of the those polled, if he actually jumped into the race, this is before the media turned its attention to him, his numbers would double.

Posted by: abrahamv | August 4, 2007 12:18 AM | Report abuse

as ldp rightfully points out, almost half of Iowans would like to see Gore jump into the race according to a Des Moines Register poll a little while back. As most analysts know, Iowa caucus goers are fervently anti-war, and Al Gore was THE FIRST major politician - even before Obama - to oppose the Iraq War. Factor in his vast experience, leadership on global warming, and prescience on so many issues, and it's hard to believe that Gore would not perform well. Heck, he's LEADING in New Hampshire when included in a recent poll. That's without spending a single dollar on the race.

Sure, most Democrats may be satisfied with the current crop of candidates, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't welcome Gore, who would become the most qualified man (or woman) running.

Posted by: skoufis | August 3, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Well isn't that a funny view from that poll.

You aren't an analyst, so you must be currying favor for a candidate. Shall we guess who?

Even more clear we need Al Gore. No leader at all. Bouncing around, no one is really reaching. The last polls show UNDECIDED as the Winner.

And when asked who Iowans would LIKE to be in the race? Al Gore won with a whopping 44 percent.

Amerca still has a chance to have the best. True leader with the experience and vision to move us forward and start solving these many problems these other candidates are treating like a Quiz show. I'm waiting for one to scream out "Did I get it right?"

Time for a COOL change,

"Superman wears Al Gore pajamas"

Posted by: ldp | August 3, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

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