Dean Can't Miss; Kerry Collapsing; Strong Support for Clark as VP


BOSTON, MA – Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean has stormed far beyond the pack 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,” 35% of likely New Hampshire Democratic voters selected Dean, while just 12% chose Kerry. Clark, who has opened most political observer’s eyes, polled 10%. There were just 21% undecided respondents.

“Dean’s lead is so large that the most important race right now is for second place,” said David Paleologos, Director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University. “In addition, Dean’s favorable rating of 66% is at the highest level polled in 2003.”

With Dean clearly securing the top spot, the battle for second place is being fought by John Kerry (12%), Wesley Clark (10%), Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (6%), Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt (5%) and North Carolina Senator John Edwards (5%).

According to the latest 7NEWS-Suffolk University survey, John Kerry’s campaign has been a disappointment. When asked about his campaign, 38% of likely Democratic voters said the Kerry campaign was “worse than expected,” 14% indicated, “better than expected,” and 33% said, “just what you expected.”

Furthermore, when asked if John Kerry “must win the New Hampshire primary to win the Democratic nomination for President,” 44% of respondents said, “yes,” while 42% answered, “no.”

“These raised expectations put tremendous pressure on Kerry whose favorability has dropped 15% since the last 7NEWS-Suffolk University survey in October,” said Paleologos. “A Kerry fall into third place, although improbable, would be disastrous.”

In other findings from the 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll, Wesley Clark (19%) was New Hampshire’s Democratic top choice for Vice President, followed by Joe Lieberman (13%). In fact, among Dean voters in New Hampshire, Clark was clearly the VP pick with 29%, followed by Kerry with 13%.

In addition, Democratic voters expect George Bush to be the next President of the United States. When asked, “who do you expect the next President to be,” Bush led the way with 33% of Democratic respondents, followed by Dean (27%), Kerry (5%) and Clark (4%).

“George Bush is actually getting a slight bump from Democratic voters,” said Paleologos. “His expectation numbers are at the highest level polled this year, and his favorability rating of 36% among Democratic voters, although low, has also risen to its highest level.”

The 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll was conducted December 5 through December 7, 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, December 9, 2003. Cross-tabulation data totaling 215 pages will be released on Wednesday, December 10, 2003, and one-page candidate summaries will be posted daily thereafter on the Suffolk website ( 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, with campuses in Madrid, Spain and Dakar, Senegal (Africa), 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 a reasonable cost for students of all ages and backgrounds, with strong emphasis on diversity. Suffolk has a combined enrollment of more than 7,000 full-time and part-time students at its Law School, College of Arts and Sciences and Sawyer School of Management.

Suffolk Contacts: Mariellen Norris at 617-573-8450 or
Tony Ferullo at 617-573-8448

7NBC Contact: Ro Dooley Webster at 617-248-5565

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