John Edwards the Second Choice Winner. . .?


Eric Kleefield makes a compelling case that John Edwards rather than Barack Obama was the real winner of 2nd choice movement last night in Iowa.
His piece is great — but many of the folks who have privately written to me and were supporting Richardson, Dodd or Biden tell me that they then chose Obama for the most part, though a couple mentioned Edwards. None who reported to me went with Hillary.
— Steve Clemons


8 comments on “John Edwards the Second Choice Winner. . .?

  1. Kathleen says:

    S.Brennan,,, very interesting figures… does put a new light on things. I think Nader people listened to his opinion on Edwards, too.


  2. S Brennan says:

    I respect your ability to spin it for Obama, here are some numbers for you to spin for your guy.
    “…The fact of Edwards’ competitiveness is all the more remarkable considering the extent to which the most aggressively anti-corporate candidate among the major contenders has been outspent by his rivals.
    “Outspent” is actually an understatement.
    According to details of campaign spending developed for CNN by TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG, Obama has spent money at an unprecedented rate on television advertising in Iowa.
    The figures:
    Obama: $9 million and climbing, for more than 11,000 television spots.
    Clinton, $7.2 million, for 8,000 spots.
    Edwards, $3.2 million, for 3,700.
    Independent advertising by labor unions and labor-tied groups has benefited Clinton (around $700,000 in ads put up by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) and Edwards (around $600,000 from a Service Employees International Union political action committee and a Carpenters union PAC).”


  3. S Brennan says:

    You’re spinning it for Obama and I respect that.
    You’re entitled to believe people with agenda would set it aside for a pollster. Who knows, maybe people are that simple. Here’s what I wrote yesterday…before.
    I think it holds up well.
    —– Original Message —–
    From: S Brennan
    Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 1:09 PM
    Subject: It’s pretty funny to watch all the second tier candidates rally to Obama
    It’s pretty funny to watch all the second tier candidates rally to Obama.
    Biden Staffer: “Our People Likely to Go Obama”.
    Does Biden strike you as a “Change Candidate” type…he’s been running for president since 1988 and didn’t he introduce the bankruptcy bill that his Delaware Bank Corporations wanted? Aren’t he and Hillary pretty close? I can see why his donors wouldn’t want him supporting Edwards, but why doesn’t he support Clinton? Maybe, just maybe, he is. Remember Bill Clinton was the one that started talking Obama up in 2004, considering what Bill’s been saying lately, you’d think maybe Obama has become the Clinton’s Frankenstein, still the man could keep Hill in the race.
    Richardson Will Help Obama
    Richardson has been playing nice with Clinton throughout the run-up, perhaps with the thought of a position in the Clinton administration? Why the sudden turn to Obama? Is Richardson really a “Change Candidate” type? Hmmm…well, truth be told Obama’s positions are consistent with Reid’s and Pelosi’s strategy of the last two years, he may talk big [change], but the walk is small [conventional policy], so Richardson is not straying too far…but why stray at all from Clinton?
    Dennis Kucinich was asking his supporters to back Obama.
    Which brings up Dennis Kucinich, why is he supporting the most conservative candidate? I mean Hill’s health plan is closer to Dennis’s ideas than Obama…what gives? All talk and no walk…really, this endorsement smacks of x-files and aliens.
    These last minute endorsements smack of desperation…and I don’t believe Obama is desperate. Who is? Well if Hillary finishes a distant third to a photo finish tie she is still in the game, but if Edwards or Obama splits are big enough, the Clintons will have a hard sell ahead of them. She should do well in New Hampshire…New York state is as close as 40 miles…if only she can get past the Iowa news cycle. Are these “endorsements” in Obama interest? Are the Clinton’s going to use these last minute “endorsements” to attack a Obama Iowa win as something less than significant? Or are the Clintons being too clever by half and boosting Obama to their demise?
    It’s going to fun to watch how the Clintons spin this Iowa news cycle out.
    Hillary has enough money to make to the convention and can outlast Edwards in the money race if she remains competitive…And I have absolute faith she can out maneuver Obama on the convention floor…tonight could not be more interesting.


  4. Maxwell says:

    I think Eric’s piece is compelling, but it also doesn’t bode well for Edwards’ future prospects, given that his first-choice showing was actually quite poor, and there have been many anecdotal reports that the strength of Obama’s turnout in raw numbers would have translated to a double-digit lead, save for the Iowa’s arcane method of converting irregular large clusters of participants into a handful of delegates, which is hardly proportional representation in any true sense.
    Edwards won’t have the luxury of the “second-choice” in more conventional primaries.
    And as for your question about polling accuracy, well DMR and the Zogby tracking polls were quite good (pre-apportionment) last cycle as well. They identified the eventual winner, and noted all the right trendlines.
    And I think entrance/exit polling has always been rather strong, but can be non-representative when the actual voting session happens over a long period, like a full day. Considering that caucuses are uniquely confined to a roughly two-hour period, I think the sampling environment is more controlled, in a positive sense, as long as sampling is regionally distributed and weighted appropriately.


  5. Kathleen says:

    Did anyone with half a brain seriously think Rudy, serial adulterer, was going to play well in Peoria??? Give me a break.
    I can’t get past Obama skipping the Kyl-Lieberman vote and not seeing any high crimes or misdemeanors….


  6. S Brennan says:

    Given the accuracy of exit polls of late…Eric case should be taken with a grain of salt.
    Additionally, people going into a caucus have a motivation to disguise their intentions…I’m surprised intelligent people are giving Kleefield this much ink on dubious data. I does seem Edwards has biased press to sail against…and that has always been the weakness of trying to run as a true populist…all the Institutions will align against you.
    I think Edwards would have to get very lucky in NH to still be in the Game, where his votes will go is the question, will voters prefer Hill’s liberal policies or Obama’s liberal platitudes


  7. whskyjack says:

    In other words what your telling us is he came in a distant third in a straight vote. Today he is thanking the people who divised the weird rules or he would have nothing to brag about.
    Second Choice Winner
    isn’t exacty a headline I would want to see if I were him.
    Love the spin


  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Iowa Live Blogging: Ron Paul defeats Republican national front-runner in Iowa
    January 3rd, 2008, filed by Thomas Ferraro
    U.S. Rep. Ron Paul — the soft-spoken Texan who has opposed the Iraq war and a ban on same-sex marriages — had something to cheer about in losing the opening round in the race for the U.S. presidency.
    Though Paul finished fifth in the Iowa Republican caucuses, the 72-year-old maverick placed far ahead of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is running first in national polls.
    With more than 85 percent of the precincts reporting, Paul had 10 percent of the vote compared to 4 percent for Giuliani who spent little time in the state. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won with 34 percent.


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