Good news for Senator Barack Obama in an overnight poll for the Wall Street Journal. He is now only 5% behind Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton (trailing her 36% to 31%) after being 12% behind last month. John '$400 haircut' Edwards is third on 20%.
Earlier this month we also learnt that the Illinois Senator had raised almost as much money as the former First Lady. Hillary Clinton's campaign raised $26m to Obama's $25m. Fundraising power had expected to be the New York Senator's trump asset.
Senator Obama is also winning the IT race according to TechPresident.com. He has more than three times as many MySpace friends as Clinton, for example, and is many times further ahead on YouTube views.
All Democrat candidates are far ahead of their Republican rivals in use of the internet according to TechPresident. MySpace and other social networks are expected to be important ways of recruiting new activists in the 2008 campaign.
The WSJ/NBC survey found that Rudy Giuliani is still the GOP frontrunner but his support is down 5% over the last month to 33%. His support for publicly-funded abortions may have hurt the former New York Mayor with Republicans. Senator McCain, who relaunched his campaign yesterday, remains in second place on 22%.
There is a lot of pressure on Barack Obama to come forward with detailed policies but Clive Crook, writing in today's Financial Times, thinks that vagueness might be one of his key strengths:
"He is winning support from very different constituencies. Much of the Democratic base adores him. That is how he came to beat Mrs Clinton in primary-election fundraising last quarter (astonishing everybody, not least the Clinton campaign). He excites the base because, aside from being black, he is a liberal’s liberal. His voting record in the Senate places him close to Edward Kennedy, way to the left of the repositioned Mrs Clinton. It helps that, unlike her, he was against the Iraq war from the start. Outside the Democratic party, on the other hand, he appeals because, apart from being black, he seems moderate, likeable and unthreatening. Race aside, the base likes him for his Howard Dean qualities; Middle America likes him because he is no Howard Dean, or so they imagine. The best way to undermine this alliance would be to offer a detailed manifesto. Better to stay in the realm of anaesthetic generalities."
"Better to stay in the realm of anaesthetic generalities"? That may be a good electoral strategy but it's very high risk for governing.