For those in Washington who are already consumed by presidential contest, it's important to be reminded how little attention most other people are paying to the race at this early stage.
When polled about presidential contenders, only 19 percent in the May 12 to 16 Pew Research Center poll said they had heard of Gary Bauer; 22 percent, Rep. John Kasich (R-Ohio); 36 percent, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.); 48 percent, Lamar Alexander; 52 percent, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.); 54 percent, Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.); 60 percent, ex-Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.); 70 percent, Steve Forbes; and 85 percent, Pat Buchanan.
Over 90 percent have heard of Elizabeth Dole, Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R), former Vice President Dan Quayle, Vice President Al Gore and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Fifty-eight percent of registered voters who had heard of Quayle said there was "no chance" they would vote for him. Forty-nine percent felt that way about Gore. Twenty-eight and 33 percent, respectively, said there was no chance they would vote for Bush or Dole.
In the May 23 and 24 Gallup poll, 40 percent said it was "not at all likely" they could vote for Gore and 15 percent said it was "not too likely." Nineteen percent in May 1987 gave those responses about then-Vice President George Bush.