The survey did find some small differences among the four top contenders. For instance, Mr. Rae was the least popular among diehard Liberal voters, with only 77 per cent saying they'd stick with the party under his leadership.
That compares to 84 per cent under either Mr. Ignatieff or Mr. Brison and 80 per cent under Ms. Stronach's leadership.
But the poll found Mr. Rae could lure away the most NDP voters (40 per cent) while Mr. Brison and Mr. Ignatieff could lure away the most Conservative voters (31 per cent each). At 25 per cent, Ms. Stronach was the least popular among those planning to vote Tory.
One argument I have heard to prop up Stronach's leadership bid is that she would shave off some Tory supporters. Stronach lags behind with Liberal faithful, but more importantly she has a noticeable gap with Conservatives. I think these discrepancies are a function of the fact that Stronach is a relatively "known" quantity, with the accompanying high negatives.
Rae appealing to NDP voters supports the argument that the party can afford to move to the left and still remain relevant. Rae's appeal also confronts the conventional wisdom that NDP supporters will never forgive him. Too early to say much about polls, especially one that omits Kennedy and Dryden.