February 26, 2004
Earlier in the week, I was predicting that Obama and Hynes would start to pull closer to Hull in the polls. My reasoning was that once voters started to take a serious look at the candidates and see Obama and Hynes' newly aired ads they would conclude that Obama is the best choice. But I didn't think it would be this fast. Check out the complete poll here.
Certainly the race is not over and if the polls are this volatile in less than a week they can change that dramatically again. [In fact, I just saw that another poll by NBC5 has Hull up by double digits.] As per my earlier predictions, Obama's rise can't be purely a result of the t.v. exposure, because that just started two days ago. Clearly Hull's divorce scandal has scarred his image, especially among women voters, and CBS2 also credits Hull's poor performance in Monday's debate as a factor of his decline. But I can't help but think that Hull's drop is attributable to voters beginning to question his creditials as they finally start to seriously contemplate the Democratic field. He had the airwaves to himself before and looked great, but he doesn't look quite so good next to the competition. Hull will certainly turn up the t.v. exposure in a big way in an attempt to squash this fall and there's plenty of time before the primary, but it may be hard for him to regain the big lead he previously had now that Obama has been crowned a frontrunner (at least temporarily). For those who didn't know Obama, a few days in the lead will introduce him to them. That should give him some much needed free press coverage to work his outward charm (which whatever you think of the guy is hard to deny, especially next to stiff Hull). So basically I think Obama is in a good position. His t.v. ads should start to take effect soon and unlike Hull he has a pretty extensive grassroots network to rely on come election day. As for Hynes, don't rule him out. As Chicago: Howtown explains, Hynes will have the most extensive gotv network on election day. Well, however you interpret the latest news, it's certainly making for an interesting race.