Clark Leads Democratic Candidates

by David W. Moore

Dean, Kerry, Lieberman, and Gephardt in second tier

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- In the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey of Democrats who are registered to vote, conducted Oct. 6-8, Ret. Army Gen. Wesley Clark receives the most support, 21%, followed by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (16%), Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (13%), Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (13%), and Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt (8%). These results are based on a sample size of 400 registered voters who indicate either that they identify with, or that they "lean" to, the Democratic Party.

These results are similar to those of a Gallup Poll conducted Sept. 19-21, suggesting no significant changes in support over the past two and a half weeks. Clark's entry into the race, just prior to the Sept. 19-21 poll, dramatically altered the character of the race, and now two polls show him as the clear front-runner. Because these polls provided similar results, they were combined to allow for an analysis of candidate support by demographic subgroups. The combined polls show Clark with an average lead of seven points over Dean, 22% to 15%. Lieberman and Kerry enjoy an average of 12% support, followed by Gephardt at 10%.

Percentage of Democrats and Lean Democrats
Who Support Each Candidate
Sept. 19-21 & Oct. 6-8, 2003

TABLE OF COMBINED RESULTS (N=823)

SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES AMONG REGISTERED VOTERS

WHO IDENTIFY WITH, OR LEAN TO, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Sept. 19-21 and Oct. 6-8

Clark

Dean

Kerry

Lieberman

Gephardt

Other

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Overall

22

15

12

12

10

15

15

Gender

Male

29

17

10

10

11

11

12

Female

16

13

13

13

9

19

18

Race

White

24

17

14

12

10

10

14

Black

15

7

6

11

6

35

20

Age

18 to 29

21

16

13

11

4

22

13

30 to 49

18

16

12

12

10

19

13

50 to 64

20

15

15

10

10

10

20

65+

32

9

7

14

14

9

15

Region

East

20

17

22

10

8

13

10

Midwest

17

14

9

15

13

13

19

South

25

8

7

11

9

22

18

West

23

22

9

12

8

11

15

Income

Less than $20,000

26

5

13

10

7

20

20

$20,000-$30,000

17

15

16

13

7

18

13

$30,000-$50,000

18

10

8

14

12

20

18

$50,000-$75,000

21

18

14

11

11

9

16

$75,000+

25

26

13

8

8

12

8

Party Strength

Democrat

21

13

10

11

10

16

18

Lean Democrat

23

17

17

13

7

13

10

Ideology

Liberal

18

24

14

10

9

13

12

Moderate

24

11

12

12

9

14

18

Conservative

23

7

9

13

10

22

16

Religion

Protestant

21

12

8

10

12

19

17

Catholic

23

15

18

12

8

12

12

The other four candidates -- the Rev. Al Sharpton (5%), former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (3%), North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (3%), and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich (2%) -- all enjoy single-digit support.

Support by Region

Clark leads or is tied for first place in all four regions of the country, but in comparison with the other candidates he is especially strong in the South (Clark is from Arkansas). There, Clark receives 25% support, while the other four major candidates receive from 7% to 11% support in that region.

Support for Democratic Candidates Compared by Region
(Percent Support)
Sept. 19-21 & Oct. 6-8, 2003

Clark and Dean are essentially tied in the West, at 23% and 22% support, respectively, while the other three major candidates receive from 7% to 12% support. Dean's support is in the double digits in the East, Midwest, and West, but is only at 8% in the South.

Kerry is decidedly a regional candidate, getting his strongest support in the East (22%), but not faring especially well elsewhere, getting only 7% to 9% support outside his home region.

Lieberman receives fairly consistent support across the four regions, from 10% to 15%. Gephardt's support is also relatively consistent, from 8% to 13%. These last two candidates do not lead in any region of the country.

Gender Gap

Support for the Democratic candidates is fairly close between men and women, except when it comes to their support of Clark. A military man, he receives 29% support among men, making him the clear winner in this group by 12 percentage points over his closest challenger.

Support for Democratic Candidates Compared by Gender
(Percent Support)
Sept. 19-21 & Oct. 6-8, 2003

Democratic women show less of a consensus, with 16% support for Clark (13 percentage points lower than support among men), but 13% support each for Kerry, Dean, and Lieberman, and 9% support for Gephardt.

Age Differences

In general, there are few differences in support among the four age groups. However, Clark enjoys especially strong support among Democrats 65 and older (32%), though he also gets from 18% to 21% support among the three younger age groups.

Support for Democratic Candidates Compared by Age
(Percent Support)
Sept. 19-21 & Oct. 6-8, 2003

Dean and Kerry fare poorly among that oldest group, while Gephardt is especially weak among the youngest age group (under age 30).

Ideology

As the first declared candidate to attack the Bush administration for its conduct of the war in Iraq, Dean appeals especially strongly to liberals in the Democratic Party -- receiving 24% support, the most of any candidate. Among moderates (11% support) and conservatives (7%), Dean's support drops considerably.

Support for Democratic Candidates Compared by Ideology
(Percent Support)
Sept. 19-21 & Oct. 6-8, 2003

Clark fares well among all three ideological groups, though he does somewhat better among moderates (24%) and conservatives (23%) than among liberals (18%).

Kerry's support shows a slight tilt in the liberal direction, while Lieberman's tilts in the opposite direction. Gephardt's support is virtually the same among all three groups.

Religion

As a Catholic, Kerry receives twice as much support from Catholics (18%) as from Protestants (8%).

Support for Democratic Candidates Compared by Religion
(Percent Support)
Sept. 19-21 & Oct. 6-8, 2003

There are only slight differences in support among Catholics and Protestants for the other candidates.

Survey Methods

The latest results are based on telephone interviews with 1,017 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Oct. 6-8, 2003. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

For results based on the sample of 400 Democrats and Democratic leaners who are registered to vote, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5 percentage points.

For results based on the COMBINED SAMPLES OF 823 Democrats and Democratic leaners who are registered to vote, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

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