Who's the preferred presidential pick for Republicans who say the Iraq war was a mistake?
Answer: Arizona Sen. John McCain, the war's chief defender.
Which candidate does disproportionately well among the wealthiest Democrats?
Answer: Former North Carolina senator John Edwards, the populist who's focusing on poverty and promising, among other things, to roll back tax cuts for the affluent.
A USA TODAY analysis of Americans' preferences in the 2008 presidential race -- based on more than 7,000 interviews in USA TODAY/Gallup Polls taken this year -- finds some surprising sides to the appeal of the four contenders in each party who top the polls. The study provides intriguing clues about whose messages are breaking through and what issues matter most.
This is why I don't put a whole lot of weight on polling at this point. While most of the folks who frequent sites such as Wizbang and Wizbang Blue are knowledgeable about where the candidates stand on the issues -- except for Fred Thompson, of course, whose whole campaign thusfar has been based on saying nothing meaningful -- average voters pick up snippets here and there and put a lot more emphasis on media hype than the more diligent.
Right now, it's Hillary and Rudy because these are the names that the public has heard the most, but I still believe that when the elections get closer and the opposition research folks get more serious about their work, other candidates will move to the fore.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!