Poll shows Kerry with lead, but many Missourians undecided

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry has a lead over his Democratic presidential rivals in Missouri, but many residents are still undecided about whom to support, according to a poll of likely voters in next Tuesday's primary.

Kerry had 25 percent support -- nearly three times that of any other Democrat -- but 35 percent were undecided in a poll released Wednesday and conducted for The Kansas City Star and television station KMBC.

The poll was conducted after Kerry's victory in the Iowa caucuses but before his win in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.

The contender who came closest to Kerry was North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, with 9 percent support. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean had 6 percent, followed by retired Gen. Wesley Clark of Arkansas with 3 percent.

Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt also received 3 percent, although he left the presidential race after a poor showing in Iowa. Gephardt will appear on Missouri's primary ballot because it was too late to remove his name.

Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman received 2 percent support, with Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and the Rev. Al Sharpton of New York each receiving 1 percent.

The survey was conducted by Market Data Specialists, a Star subsidiary, from Jan. 20 through Sunday and covered 600 registered voters who said they would vote in the presidential primary. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Survey respondents included 268 self-described Democrats and 154 people who said they were independents. The polls also included 132 people who said they were Republicans but planned to vote in the Democratic primary, which is allowed under Missouri law. Forty-six other survey participants said they held some other party affiliation or didn't know their affiliation.

Although the respondents surveyed all said they would vote in the Democratic primary, Republican President Bush still received 12 percent of the support. Missouri primary rules require a voter to ask for a Democratic, Republican or Libertarian ballot before casting their vote.

Missouri's 74 delegates are the biggest prize up for grabs in any of the seven states holding primaries next Tuesday.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: