Monday, December 31, 2007
Edwards Leads Latest Poll in Iowa
Here's what I know about polls in Iowa - they don't count for much. Nevertheless, if your candidate is in the lead, your shout it from the mountain top. Here's the latest poll from McClatchy/MSNBC:
For an interesting read on how Edwards has spent the last four years securing rural caucus votes, check out Newsweek's Edwards: A Sleeper Candidate?
For months, Edwards has been rounding up support in the state's rural precincts where the front runners have paid less attention. While Obama and Clinton have drawn crowds in the thousands in places like Des Moines and Ames, Edwards has been winning over people in tiny towns like Sac City (population: 2,189). Even if he loses to Obama and Clinton in the state's bigger cities, he hopes he can still win by wrapping up smaller, far-flung precincts that other candidates have ignored. "The bulk of our support is in small and medium counties," says Jennifer O'Malley, Edwards's Iowa state director. O'Malley says Edwards has visited all 99 counties in the state; the campaign has so far trained captains covering 90 percent of all 1,781 precincts. Rural voters are sometimes reluctant to caucus, so the campaign has been enlisting respected community leaders to encourage first-timers to get past their apathy or fear.
One thing you can bank on, Iowa will give both the Republicans and Democrats a surprise. My uneducated, out of touch, biased predication - the first vote in the urban caucus meetings will go like the poll above. Rural voters are all sporting a "Hogs for Edwards" bumper sticker due to Edwards opposition to corporate pig farms, so the rural caucus numbers will be big for John. Since you have to have 15% of the vote to survive to round II (which Richardson and Biden won't get), the Richardson/Biden votes will split between Edwards and Obama because these voters want big change. Edwards wins Iowa, Obama a close 2nd, Hillary is 3rd.