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:



Edwards 24%
Clinton 23%
Obama 22%
Richardson 12%
Biden 8%
Dodd 2%
Kucinich 1%
Gravel >1%
Undecided 8%

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.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

By Shailagh Murray
NEWTON, Iowa -- Meet Barack Obama, man of the people.

The Illinois senator is weaving new threads about his life into his stump speech, recalling a time not long ago when he was a member of the beleaguered middle class -- just like so many of the Jan. 3 caucusgoers he's battling Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards to win over.

Speaking before a large, enthusiastic crowd at a local high school gymnasium here, Obama described the ordinary problems, like daycare and housing costs, that he and his wife Michelle confronted as recently as five or six years ago, before he was elected to the U.S. Senate and became a best selling author.

"We were still struggling with all the student loans we had to pay off after law school, because neither of us were rich," he said. "Our parents couldn't provide us with all that education. We had to borrow. We hadn't started a college fund yet for our kids. We hadn't started saving for retirement. We had some credit cards we had to deal with. We were living in a small condo that was getting a little too small for our two kids."

People nodded their heads. "I was doing the grocery shopping," Obama continued. "Michelle shopped at Target. She does still shop at Target. She really loves Target." He quoted his wife telling him, "I think one of the reasons you'd make a good president now is...we're not that far from being normal."

In one of his standard riffs, Obama asserts that his career choices -- community organizer, civil rights lawyer, elected official -- underscores his commitment to public service and to bringing about political and social change. He always mentions the lucrative job offers he turned down, but today he added a new line.

"That's why I didn't become a trial lawyer," Obama told the Newton audience -- a clear dig at Edwards, who made millions in the courtroom.

Stephen Bough said...

I was wrong (for the 3 folks reading the blog and keeping track of my numerous errors)

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