This whole Gore-Dean thing got me thinking. Everyone's crowned Howard Dean (search) the inevitable nominee. Game over. All this without one caucus, one primary, one contest -- anywhere. Not one vote has been cast. But yet it seems like the die has been cast.

Says who?

Imagine if a tall, lanky backwoodsman named Abraham Lincoln had to rely on polls before seeking the presidency back in 1860. He'd have been laughed off the ballot before there was a ballot.

Harry Truman didn't poll well in 1948. But last time I checked, he won in 1948.

Richard Nixon was a third choice among Republicans polled in 1967. He went on to get his party's nomination and the election in 1968.

Look, for all I know, these polls are right. Howard Dean is "the" guy in New Hampshire, maybe now Iowa too.

But I can remember when Eugene McCarthy was suddenly "the" guy in 1968. When Ed Muskie was "the" guy in 1972. And when a guy named Scoop Jackson was "the" guy in 1976.

Polls shouldn't elect presidents. We should.

Sentiment is one thing. Banking on it being bible is another.

Would a former Princeton University professor named Woodrow Wilson have polled well? Or an argumentative John Adams? Or an out of nowhere Jimmy Carter?

I don't think so.

Look, polls are nice. But there's a big difference between measuring sentiment at the moment and a leader for the future.

I heard one network anchor say he was ticked off at a recent debate that we had to hear from Carol Mosley Brown or Dennis Kucinich, presumably because these guys didn't have a chance.

Says who?

No election told him that. Polls told him that.

I don't know if I was more offended for them being dismissed, or that pompous network anchor for being the one to dismiss them. Dismiss them based on nothing more than a poll? Please.

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Neil Cavuto serves as senior vice president, anchor and managing editor for both FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX Business Network (FBN). He is anchor of FNC's Your World with Cavuto - the number one rated cable news program for the 4 p.m. timeslot - as well as the FNC Saturday show Cavuto on Business. He also hosts Cavuto on FBN weeknights at 8 p.m. In addition to anchoring daily programs and breaking news specials on FNC and FBN, Cavuto oversees business news content for both networks and FNC's weekend business shows, including Bulls & Bears, Forbes on Fox, and Cashin' In. Click here for more on Neil Cavuto.