Dean Rising, Kerry Falling and Clark Enters Top Tier in Latest Poll

9/29/2003

Suffolk Contacts:
Mariellen Norris at 617-573-8450, mnorris@suffolk.edu or
Tony Ferullo at 617-573-8448, tferullo@suffolk.edu

7NBC Contact:
Ro Dooley Webster at 617-248-5565, rdooley@whdh.com

A Primary Shake-Up in New Hampshire

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean has rocketed to first place in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, well ahead of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and political newcomer and retired general Wesley Clark, according to an exclusive 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll released today.

When asked, “if the Democratic Primary election for President were held today, toward whom would you lean,” 26% of likely New Hampshire Democratic voters selected Dean, while just 17% chose Kerry. Clark, who has opened most political observer’s eyes, polled 10%, passing seven existing Democratic Presidential candidates.

“Dean has crossed an important bridge,” said Suffolk University adjunct professor David Paleologos, a veteran pollster and author. “He’s linking likability to electability. New Hampshire voters are rewarding the candidate who is staying with a positive message and not attacking his or her competitors.”

Back in March, a 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll showed Kerry in first place with 32% of the votes, with Dean a distant third at just 10%.

“This is a wake-up call for John Kerry,” said Paleologos. “With the election just 115 days away, Kerry needs to re-connect with the voters that once supported him.”

According to the latest 7NEWS-Suffolk University survey, Dean’s popularity continues to rise. His favorable rating was 61%, while only 14% rated him unfavorably.

Clark, who entered the political arena less than two weeks ago, has already vaulted into third place on limited name recognition. While 49% of likely voters are undecided or have never heard of Clark, he still has passed better known candidates in a short period of time. This suggests that Clark has more room to grow as he continues to introduce himself along the New Hampshire campaign trail.

In other findings from the 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll, 56% of respondents said it was not worth going to war in Iraq, while 35% believed it was the right thing to do. In addition, 43% of respondents felt that the terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, is directly linked to Iraq, while 42% did not.

Furthermore, when asked, “if respondents supported or opposed President George Bush’s request for $87 billion dollars to help re-build Iraq and Afghanistan,” just 24% supported the President’s request, while 64% opposed it.

The 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll was conducted from September 26 through September 28, 2003. The margin of error is +/- 4.9% at a 95% level of confidence. All 400 New Hampshire respondents indicated they were Democratic voters and likely to cast a ballot on Primary Day, January 27, 2004.

Suffolk University is scheduled to release highlights of its survey in chart form on Tuesday, September 30, 2003. Cross-tabulation data will be released on Wednesday, October 1, 2003. Additionally, one-page candidate summaries will be posted daily thereafter on the Suffolk website (www.suffolk.edu). For more information, please contact Suffolk adjunct professor David Paleologos at (781) 290-9310.

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Suffolk University, located on Boston’s historic Beacon Hill, is a comprehensive, global institution distinguished by its teaching and the intellectual contributions of its faculty. Suffolk offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 70 areas of study. Its mission is to provide quality education at an affordable cost for students of all ages and backgrounds. Suffolk has a combined enrollment of more than 7,000 full-time and part-time students at its College of Arts and Sciences, Sawyer School of Management, and Law School.

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