Clark Frontrunner In Poll

Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, right, greets supporters after speaking to delegates at the Arkansas Municipal League state convention in this file photo from Friday, June 20, 2003, in Little Rock, Ark. Clark is still mum on whether he will seek the presidency, but he finally revealed his political affiliation as a Democrat on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2003. AP

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark has raised $750,000 in the first three days of his Democratic presidential campaign, and is the frontrunner in a major poll.

The Newsweek edition on newsstands Monday reports that Clark, former supreme commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization who retired from the Army in 2000, had 14 percent backing in a poll taken just days after he entered the race. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut had 12 percent each, and Sen. John Kerry had 10 percent.

Head-to-head against President Bush, the poll showed Bush would get 47 percent backing, Clark 43 percent.

The poll of 1,001 adults was taken Thursday and Friday and had an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points, 4 percentage points for registered voters.

Advisers say the $750,000 Clark has raised does not include the $1.9 million that supporters pledged before he entered the race Wednesday. The campaign intends to notify those supporters, members of various Draft-Clark organizations, and ask them to back up their pledges with cash.

Clark is the 10th Democratic presidential candidate.

Sen. Edwards dismissed the poll, telling CBS News' Face the Nation program that the campaign season is just getting under way.

Asked if Clark had become the man to beat, Edwards replied, "Anybody can be beaten."

The North Carolina senator told CBS' "Face the Nation" program that the campaign season is just getting under way.

"This thing's just starting," he said. "Voters are just beginning to pay attention."
  • Dan Collins

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