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Robert Shrum, Stanley Greenberg, and James Carville

Democracy Corps founders Robert Shrum, Stanley Greenberg, and James Carville were Thursday's guests. Excerpts from their remarks, in which they discussed the findings of their latest opinion survey, follow:

On president bush's standing with the public:

(Greenberg) "We do not believe that George Bush's numbers are intimidating.... The broad presumption of his reelection, we think, is not justified by the data."

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On the president's latest poll numbers:

(Greenberg) "He has a generic reelect [rating] of around 50 percent, which is OK. But having just come out of a war, one would have expected more from that. All the numbers ... point toward a competitive election."

On the democrats' need to differentiate themselves from the president:

(Shrum) "The era of little ideas and little differences is over. One of the things this poll says is we do very well when we talk about big differences. Democrats in 2002, in many places ... ran campaigns of smaller ideas or smaller differences and did not do very well."

On the danger of appearing to be a party of interest groups:

(Carville) "If we come across through the ... election process as somebody who is heading a coalition of interest groups, we won't do as well. If we come across as a party with a national agenda ... we will probably win."

On the public's view of us policy in iraq:

(Carville) "The occupation is going to end up being a much bigger issue than [finding] weapons of mass destruction."