Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Globe Poll on Liberal Race Good News for Rae

Setting aside the blowback Rae may get from the bad news (for him as a Liberal leadership candidate) that he donated to the NDP in the 2006 election, a new Strategic Counsel poll that appeared in today's Globe is quite good news for him.

IF, and this is a very big IF (because I think it is very difficult to poll accurately population sub-sets like Liberal members), the poll is really capturing the state of opinion among Liberal delegates, it suggests Rae will win. The crucial quote is this:

Mr. Gregg noted that the second-ballot choices of Liberals supporting Mr. Brison — who with 3-per-cent support would likely drop out after the first or second ballot — break significantly toward Mr. Rae.

The same holds true for supporters of Mr. Dryden and Mr. Kennedy. For example, 32 per cent of Mr. Kennedy's supporters pick Mr. Rae as their second choice, while 18 per cent pick Mr. Ignatieff and 16 per cent Mr. Dion. Mr. Dryden's supporters also break disproportionately to Mr. Rae, but not in as great numbers. Should Mr. Dion fall off the ballot, his supporters would go three to one in favour of Mr. Rae, Mr. Gregg said.

It is the second and third choices that will matter. Rae still has to find a way early on to get decisively ahead of Kennedy and Dion. But the poll makes it clear that he has performed well in the race. See pages 7, 10, 12, 14 & 15 all of which I think are important factors.

Let me end by emphasizing my doubts about the possibility of doing polls like this accurately. However, before now I had discounted Rae's chances completely.

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