For Super Bowl week, we at InsiderAdvantage decided to mix the pastime sport of football with the blood sport of politics for our latest public opinion survey. And wouldn't you know it -- the nearly dead-even political split in the country spilled over onto the football field.
Thirty-one percent of Americans were rooting for the New England Patriots and 30 percent for the Philadelphia Eagles. The rest had no preference. So New England's narrow 24-21 victory provided a game that doubtless kept all partisans entertained right up until the final horn.
Now let's switch focus from the instant gratification of a football game to the four-year marathon known as presidential politics. Our Super Poll took an early glimpse at this never-ending war. We asked:
Whom among the following would you prefer to win the presidency in 2008?
Hillary Rodham Clinton 19 percent
John Kerry 12 percent
Rudy Giuliani 11 percent
John McCain 9 percent
Jeb Bush 9 percent
Condoleezza Rice 6 percent
John Edwards 4 percent
Howard Dean 3 percent
Wesley Clark 2 percent
Newt Gingrich 2 percent
Bill Frist 2 percent
Others 1 percent
Undecided 20 percent
The poll was conducted Feb. 2-3, 2005. It sampled 600 respondents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. It was weighted against national census data for age, race and gender, and the political questions were weighted additionally for party affiliation.
These results are what I call a real horse race. Not surprisingly -- and as I have consistently reminded readers -- Hillary Clinton fares well in a crowded field. And when broken down among those who described themselves as Democrats, she led with 31 percent to John Kerry's 19 percent.