The Fix, washingtonpost.com’s political blog, analyzed a recent Gallup poll of voters’ impressions of the three early leading Democratic candidates in ’08 — Clinton, Obama, and Edwards (sorry, Kucinich). To sum up the results:
We’re simplifying here, but it seems to suggest that the “head” of Democratic voters is with Clinton while the “heart” is on Obama’s side. Voters like Obama better but believe Clinton is the stronger candidate due to her deeper — and broader — resume.
That is, those polled generally like Obama more but feel that Clinton is more electable.
As The Fix points out, and as I remember all too keenly, Democratic voters experienced a similar dichotomy in 2004, and the head — Kerry — won. I was in New Hampshire that winter working for Dean’s campaign, and I remember the disappointment of realizing that NH’s voters are not as idealistic as I’d hoped. It didn’t work out so well then; Kerry was a bit too cerebral (read: dull) for most of America. However, I’m not sure that the solution can be found by ceding to the heart’s more subjective judgment. The Democratic Party must instead find a candidate who appeals to the whole voter, maybe with some young idealism thrown in as a vice presidential bonus. And so we return to the Democrats’ future, as decided over drinks in December — even more appealing than Captain Planet himself, Gore-Obama ’08.
As if Ellen isn’t reason enough to watch the Oscars.