In any case, my take of Rasmussen is that he is the mirror of Zogby: An "independent" pollster with obvious partisan leanings and results to match (Zogby leans Dem; Rasmussen leans Rep). This doesn't mean he sucks, it just means you should just give the Dem a few extra points to his numbers. A pollster with consistant bias is not a problem. A pollster with INCONSISTANT bias is a problem.
The place for challenges of Democrats is within the primary system. Voting for independents or third party (Green, etc.) canidates in a race that had both a Dem and a Rep just helps the Republican-it's a vote to not to vote, therefore basically gives the Republican half a vote.
Feingold has the ability to sound pissed off but not crazed. Angry, but with a logical reason. This was something Dean lacked at times. Feingold also comes off great on TV, especially in TV ads, which was another one of Dean's failings. Another thing Dean had, which never fully came out (because his campaign imploded before they needed to), was some skeletons in the Vermont closet. Feingold, as he pointed out famously in one of his early ads, had none then; and he still has none now. Feingold's negatives aren't skeletons; they're biography (jewish, twice divorced). Feingold is also Swift Boat proof-attcking his main negative, his religion, will just blow up in his enemy's face, unless done on the down low, very subtly, which limits it's effectiveness.
The censure question asks specifically about Feingold's censure motion, which was about the illegal wiretaps. The impeachment question was open ended for the reason. That is, it is possible to not have a problem with the wiretaps, but want to impeach Bush for starting the Iraqi war in the first place (or for any other reason). This probably explains how there could be more indies who want to impeach than there is that support Feingold's censure motion.
Look, I am trying to predict the future, which is impossible. Hillary has about three things in her favor:
1. Name recoginition
Support of women's organizations
All three are meaningless in New Hampshire and Iowa. It's all retail politics there. Basically, in those two states, pretty much every voter gets to have coffee with every canidate. Nobody knew who Kerry or Dean were this far out in 2004. Dean had more money than anybody, yet he lost. I believe Feingold will play better than Hillary, or anybody else, with the Democratic primary voters in those two states. That is why I call him the front runner. Obviously, no poll will show this at this juncture. Polls at this point are amazingly meaningless.
Let me show you a poll from April 2002:
Zogby America Poll. Latest: April 19-22, 2002. N=391 Democratic voters nationwide:
"If the Democratic primary for president were held today and the candidates were [see below] for whom would you vote?"
Al Gore 46
Tom Daschle 7
Joseph Lieberman 6
Bill Bradley 5
Richard Gephardt 4
John Kerry 4
Al Sharpton 2
Gray Davis 1
John Edwards 1
Joseph Biden 1
Howard Dean -
Christopher Dodd -
At this point, I think Feingold has the nomination locked up, except absolutely nobody (except maybe Feingold) knows this yet. He is the opposite of Kerry in every sense of the word, and that's what Democratic primary voters will be looking for in 2008. Plus, he has certain advantages that the other canidates lack in Iowa and New Hampshire. Iowa is right next door to Feingold's home state (assuming Vilsack doesn't throw a monkey wrench into that), and New Hampshire is ripe for Feingold's anti-Patriot Act, anti-illegal domestic spying themes (I believe one Patriot Act vote recently was 97-3, with Feingold and the two Republican senators from New Hampshire being the 3).