"John Kerry was at 4 percent in the polls in December of 2003...and he ended up becoming the nominee of the party."
Chris Dodd on Wednesday, August 29th, 2007 in an interview on CNN's <i>The Situation Room</i>
Cherry-picked numbers don't tell full story
"John Kerry was at 4 percent in the polls in December of 2003, two points behind Al Sharpton and 22 points behind Howard Dean. And he ended up becoming the nominee of the party," he said Wednesday, August 29, 2007, on CNN's The Situation Room.
We find it's not a fair comparison. Dodd is not only understating Kerry's strength in the polls, but overstating his own.
First, his subtraction was off, which the Dodd campaign acknowledged in an e-mail to us last week. Dodd was citing a Dec. 10-13, 2003, CBS/New York Times poll. It showed Kerry at 4 percent, behind Al Sharpton at 6 and Dean at 23 (The subtraction error was that Kerry was 19 percentage points behind Dean, not 22 points as Dodd said).
Dodd chose to cite polls that showed Kerry at an especially low point — 4 percent. Indeed, there were four polls showing Kerry at that level.
But other polls that same month showed Kerry with more support. There were other polls that had him between 5 and 8 percent, and two that had him at 10 percent.
Dodd's biggest stretch is his attempt to liken his poll standing to Kerry. In most polls conducted this year that include him, Dodd registers at 1 percent. He's topped out at 2 percent about five times. Even Carol Moseley Braun polled better in 2004.
And anyway, does Dodd really want to be comparing himself to Kerry? Refresh our memory here, but didn't the senator from Massachusetts ultimately — what's that word again? — lose?