By Stanford Matthews
Blog @ MoreWhat.com
Rasmussen Reports for August 14th has the Dems with Clinton 40%, Obama 24%, Edwards 16% and Richardson at 4%. The GOP side is Giuliani 25%, Thompson 21%, Romney 15%, McCain 10% and Huckabee 4%.
With the GOP it was not that long ago that Fred Thompson's numbers were several points higher, McCain was in third and Giuliani was about the same as now. While Huckabee has received a boost at the Iowa Straw Poll, Romney has been in double digits nationally for some time and has settled in the mid-teens even before Iowa. It looks like Giuliani is holding, Thompson and McCain have lost some strength and Romney plus Huckabee have enjoyed the most improvement from their work. You can still look at polls and scratch your head due to the occasional crazy variations between pollsters or inexplicable changes over short periods of time.
The Dems have the Queen of Cringe not ready to give up much of her lead. Over the past month with the three events attended by Democratic party candidates, Hillary Rodham Clinton received more criticism than one would expect from a liberal leader. Her fondness of lobbyist money and characterizing the practice as acceptable when challenged at the last YearlyKos drew a negative vocal response from the crowd. Locking up her White House docs this week until after the 2008 contest was met with suspicion as well. The upside to a long campaign season is voters may have enough time to view all the baggage she would bring to America's top job. Her numbers may in fact be slightly lower than in the past.
Obama has fallen in recent weeks while peacenik, poverty tour, let my wife do the work, multimillionaire Edwards seems to be enjoying a bit of an upward bump. He may in fact be taking numbers from Clinton and Obama. The only noticeable change is less John and more Elizabeth. But these are only poll numbers with limited value in analyzing the 2008 race.
The left side of the spectrum appears to have been quiet or at least not as vocal on items related to Iraq. With the exception of the heat Obama took over his foreign policy statements, the surrender strategy has subsided somewhat. Another indication of improved conditions related to the war effort. No conclusions are being drawn here, it is just an observation.
Giuliani's lead with Republicans has not been negatively affected by his stand on social issues. That may be explained by his ability thus far to avoid any significant discussion on the subjects. Leaning pro-choice, gay marriage and anti-gun has been softened by his campaign but may be seriously challenged later this fall. Thompson's current plan to announce is for Nashville on or after Labor Day. Which direction his numbers will go when he actually does something is anyone's guess. You might think Romney was leading the pack as one of his staffers suggested earlier with all the interrogations to which he has been subjected. It may be better to wear out the media on their assaults before the campaigns get serious. If Thompson actually enters the race in September the media focus will at least for a time be on him. That may be a benefit for the others since he will be under the microscope if and when he announces. The bet here is their will be one more delay and more reports that Gingrich is still thinking about it.
With Congress on vacation, candidates currently holding office are free to do more campaigning. Not like voting in the Senate has interfered with their plans before with all the 'not voting' tallies they generated. After the Iowa Straw Poll, those attending have stepped up work on the trail also. Interested voters can take a dog days of summer break until things heat up this fall or some candidates make headlines before then. Most likely any headlines would only reflect reports not flattering to any campaign.