I’m a bit surprised about this, to say the least. But you know, something I was thinking about the past couple days is that the punditry – and the blogosphere should be considered a part of that – pays a lot more attention to politics than the average Joe. They see and pick up on things that people who aren’t political junkies won’t notice. So perhaps that explains why most pundits considered this contest a draw, while the over 1000 who Newsweek polled saw Kerry as the clear winner.
Several people have commented here recently that Kerry gave the RNC good material to use in the coming weeks (like Kerry’s “global test” remark, which the President is now hammering) so I guess I’ll have to take that as consolation in light of the Newsweek poll showing that the Kerry act (and that’s what it was) played over well with the American people.
Another point: one thing I believe that the political commentators have gotten wrong in the last couple of weeks is counting Kerry out of the race, considering how the President was starting to surge in the state polls (check here here and here for more on that). Kerry, if you’ll remember, was all but gone during the early going of the race for the Democratic nomination. Anyone remember Howard Dean? Of course. Kerry was polling in the single digits at one point, yet came back to win the nomination. As the saying goes “it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings” – we’ve still got five weeks to go and two debates. Anything can happen between now and then.
More: Powerline provides an interesting analysis on this poll, and others coming regarding the debate – and how the Dems and the media will spin and embellish these results in the coming weeks. One example of proof: Daniel Ruth writes an op/ed in the Tampa Tribune titled “Basil Rathbone wasn’t carved up this much”.
Still more: Joe Gandelman at Dean’s World posts his analysis of this poll.