Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Why John Edwards Can Win The Iowa Caucus

Bookmark and Share

Despite leading in just 1 of the last 41 public polls conducted of likely Democratic caucus attendees in Iowa since late August 2007, there is reason for John Edwards to be optimistic about his chances of winning the caucuses Thursday night.

First, Edwards' deficit in most of the recent polls has hovered between just 2 and 8 points. In short, he is at the very least on the heels of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Secondly, if the three-way race is close, the redistribution of votes cast for caucus attendees' second choice will likely favor Edwards (this will come into play for those supporters of candidates who did not receive the minimum 15 percent in the first vote—probably supporters of Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd, and Mike Gravel). Despite Kucinich's instructions that his votes go to Barack Obama if he does not reach 15 percent (Kucinich's support hovers around just 1 percent), nearly all public polls show Edwards winning the plurality of this 'recasting' of what could amount to 10 to 20 percent of the caucus vote. For example, CNN's latest poll found Edwards to have a 12-point lead for voters' second choice. In MSNBC/McClatchy's poll, Edwards had an 11-point advantage.

Thirdly, Edwards is polling particularly strong among people over the age of 50—those most likely to attend the caucuses. Obama is polling extremely strong among younger voters—the demographic that is most unreliable in coming out to vote.

Fourthly, Edwards is polling very strong among past caucus voters—another good sign for Edwards that his supporters are more likely to show up. Obama leads among those who have never previously attended a caucus.

Fifthly, Edwards consistently has the highest favorability rating in the Democratic field—people like him, even those that are not planning to vote for him. The latest MSNBC/McClatchy poll gives Edwards a 7-point advantage over Obama in terms of favorability (73 to 66 percent) and a 14-point advantage over Clinton (59 percent).

Sixthly, though unfortunately for Edwards most voters are not aware of this data, Edwards consistently performs the best among the Democratic field in matchups against GOP opponents. In short, he is currently the most electable Democrat.

Lastly, and this is not something captured scientifically in any polling data, but Obama and Clinton have so far been the beneficiaries of the 'celebrity factor;' Edwards has not. It is because Clinton and Obama are like rock stars, especially among the younger sect for Obama, that their polling numbers might be just a bit inflated. For those who plan to attend the caucus, but do not have a history of doing so, telling a pollster you will vote for Obama or Clinton sounds a lot cooler and more hip than saying you're going to vote for Edwards. In the end, Edwards may just pick up some 'soft support' of previously stated Clinton and Obama supporters once the veil of their celebrity is removed during the discussions on caucus night.

Previous post: Clinton On Top In 2 of 3 Iowa Polls Released Today
Next post: Final Iowa Polls Released Today

1 Comment


  • Because John Edwards is the real Deal!!!!!

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

    The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

    Political Crumbs

    Seeing Red

    Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


    Home Field Advantage?

    When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting