For the Republicans, national polls generally show former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani with about a 15-point lead over the other candidates. Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mitt Romney all trail Giuliani, but the order in which they do so varies depending on the poll.
Although national polls are interesting to follow, it is important to remember that there is no national election in the United States. This is why political experts carefully follow polls of voters in states with early primaries. An early victory can help a candidate pick up more states in the quest to be the party’s nominee.
Traditionally, Iowa and New Hampshire host the first caucus and primary. Polls from those states show Clinton leading the Democratic race, although her lead over Obama is much smaller than in the national polls. On the Republican side, the picture is much different than in the national polls, with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the lead in both states. A candidate to watch in those states is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Even though most national polls have him in fifth place, some recent Iowa polls have him in second place.
A recent Washington Post poll indicates that if the election were held today, Clinton would be favored to win over any of the top Republican candidates. But the election is not today and history shows anything can still happen. In 2004, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean was favored in national polls as well as in Iowa and New Hampshire. He ended up coming in third and second in those states. Victories in those states propelled John Kerry to the Democratic nomination.
02 November 2007
A "candidate's" quest ends
Looks like the fun is over – comedian Stephen Colbert's quest to be a presidential candidate in the state of South Carolina has failed.
Colbert, host of a popular comedy talk show called the Colbert Report, gained national and international attention in recent weeks when he announced he would run for president ... only in South Carolina ... as both a Republican and a Democrat. That way, as Colbert said in press interviews, he could lose twice. Colbert also made it clear that even though he was running for president, he did not actually want to be president.
In the United States, there is no national ballot. In primary elections, each state's political parties set their own rules for determining who can be on the ticket. In South Carolina, there is no law prohibiting a candidate from running in both parties’ primaries.
Ultimately Colbert decided only to run as a Democrat – its $2,500 application fee was considerably less expensive than the Republicans’ $35,000 fee. But the South Carolina Democrats executive council voted 13-3 to reject his bid. They said Colbert was not actively campaigning in the state and was not a nationally viable candidate.
Is that true? Colbert did campaign in the state over the weekend prior to the committee vote. And, although South Carolina Democrats said Colbert is not nationally viable, they were less picky about Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel. Despite polls showing that Colbert could get more votes than either Kucinich or Gravel, the two were approved for the ballot along with the other traditional Democratic presidential candidates.
The South Carolina Democrats will refund Colbert’s $2,500.
Do you think Colbert should have been allowed on the ballot? Send in your comments.
31 October 2007
Democratic debate centers on Hillary Clinton
On October 30, seven of the eight Democratic candidates for president gathered in Philadelphia to debate a range of international and domestic issues – from how to handle tensions with Iran to whether illegal immigrants should get driver licenses.
But, as American and international media outlets reported, the debate was mostly about New York Senator Hillary Clinton's record – one more sign that she is considered the candidate to beat. The other two top-polling Democrats -- Illinois Senator Barack Obama and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards -- spent a large part of their time on stage questioning Clinton’s past statements on Iraq, Iran and social security.
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