Dean Leading, Kerry Rebounding and Clark Idling in Latest New Hampshire Poll

10/20/2003

Suffolk Contacts: Mariellen Norris at 617-573-8450 or
Tony Ferullo at 617-573-8448
7NBC Contact: Ro Dooley Webster at 617-248-5565

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry has rebounded from a weak second place showing in September to close the margin between himself and frontrunner, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, while retired general Wesley Clark is at a standstill, 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,” 25% of likely New Hampshire Democratic voters selected Dean, while 19% chose Kerry. In addition, Kerry outpolled Dean in personal popularity, with a favorable rating of 66% versus 60% for Dean.

“John Kerry is back,” said Suffolk University adjunct professor David Paleologos, a veteran pollster and author. “Although Kerry still trails, he’s gaining momentum and he’s more personally popular than Dean – these are two indicators of a real recovery and not a dead-cat bounce.”

In the last 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll in September, Kerry trailed Dean by 9%, compared to the current 6%. Furthermore, Kerry’s popularity soared from 58% in September to 66% in October.

“This month’s survey strongly suggests a two-person race between Dean and Kerry,” said Paleologos. “Clark did not move significantly in this poll; his support appears to be leveling off.”

According to the latest 7NEWS-Suffolk University survey, Clark polled at 11%, followed by Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (8%), Missouri Representative Richard Gephardt (7%) and North Carolina Senator John Edwards (4%). A total of 23% of likely Democratic voters were undecided.

In other findings from the 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64% to 29%) indicated that the Bush Administration deliberately mislead the public about how big of a threat Iraq was before the war began.

Furthermore, 57% of respondents said it was not worth going to war in Iraq, while 31% believed it was the right thing to do. In addition, 44% of respondents felt that the terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, is not directly linked to Iraq, while 42% believed it was.

Finally, when asked, “if respondents supported or opposed President George Bush’s request for $87 billion dollars to help re-build Iraq and Afghanistan,” 27% supported the President’s request, while 59% opposed it.

The 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll was conducted from October 17 through October 19, 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, October 21, 2003. Cross-tabulation data totaling 215 pages will be released on Wednesday, October 22nd. A summary of undecided voters will be released on Thursday, October 23rd. In addition, individual summaries of the top candidates will be posted on Friday, October 24th, on the Suffolk website (www.suffolk.edu). For more information, please contact Suffolk adjunct professor David Paleologos, Director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, 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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