Rich Galen

from the Vail Valley Business Forum--Vail, Colorado

We’ve discussed this before, but polls taken in August are something less than determinative of a result in a caucus or primary in the next January or February.

Nevertheless, if a poll is taken it is better to first than seventh. In the latest Gallup poll, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) comes in first with 42% of those polled and Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del) comes in seventh with about one percent if Al Gore is included.

That’s not the worst news for Biden. If you take Al Gore out of the survey, at one percent he has half of the support of Dennis Kucinich (D-Mars) who, at 2%, slides in ahead of both Biden and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn).

Gore, by the way, continues to receive support from 15% of Democrats and Independents who lean Democratic.

But that’s not the interesting thing about this poll and other recent national polls. What is interesting, and what has become regular chatter among many national political reporters is the fact that while Clinton has been edging up in the polls; Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) has been stuck in the low to mid 20’s.

According to the Gallup analysis, Clinton has “stretched her mid-July 12-point lead over Illinois Senator Barack Obama to 22 points.” The latest poll (without Gore) has Hillary at 48% and Obama at 25%.

The Clinton campaign is, in real terms, the fourth or fifth George W. Bush campaign.

The strategy of the Bush campaigns was to raise not just a boatload of money, but to raise a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier full of money and simply continue to wash away his opponents’ support.

Bush did that in 2000 and 2004. Arnold Schwarzenegger adapted the concept in his re-election campaign last November (which was populated from the top down with former Bush staffers including The Lad who was deputy to campaign manager Steve Schmidt) and got about 56% of the vote as a Republican in Blue-State-California.

The 2008 campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) was supposed to be another massive fund-raising and tsunami-level power campaign. Unfortunately the money didn’t come in and the campaign had to reorganize in July.

If you examine the overall look and feel of the Clinton campaign it is very much like Bush-Bush-Arnold: Huge staff, incredibly active and nimble communications operation, enormous fund-raising capability, lots and lots of candidate appearances and steadily increasing numbers while her opponents are reduced to swimming upstream.

The bloom began to come off the Obama rose at the first debate when he fumbled a fairly simple question about how he, as President, would react to another terror attack on the US homeland.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at