Is Edwards Crashing And Burning In Iowa?

A new WaPo/ABC poll shows Obama gaining supporters from John Edwards:

NET LEANED VOTE: 11/18/07 7/31/07

Barack Obama 30 27

Hillary Clinton 26 26

John Edwards 22 26

Edwards has decided to run a negative campaign filled with personal attacks on Hillary Clinton. If Edwards' goal is to help Obama, his tactics are working well. If he is trying to win, his tactics are disastrous.

BTW, the WaPo story is headlined "Clinton Slips . . " As you can see, it is Edwards who lost support. Clinton's support is exactly the same as this poll showed in late July.

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    Link (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Gisleson on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 06:19:06 PM EST
    Sorry I didn't have this handy when I posted before:

    Iowa Independent

    Here's what they said last Friday:

    1. John Edwards -- Edwards started about a year ago with the best organization in Iowa, and most of the foundation he built here is still in place.  Although concerns persist that his sharpening rhetoric may be alienating a few of his earliest supporters, his solid performance at the Jefferson Jackson dinner, his endorsement from Caucus 4 Priorities (and the potential 10,000 caucus-goers it could bring him), and his ongoing commitment to retail politicking keep him  in the top spot -- for now.

    2. Barack Obama -- Obama's organization was fairly inconsistent over the summer, with some counties getting a lot of attention and others getting barely any.  Still, his campaign's ability to build crowds --  as evidenced by his huge and geographically diverse group of  supporters at the Jefferson Jackson dinner -- are as good a measure of his strength as anything.  And as Clinton continues to receive sharper attacks from Edwards and subtler attacks from Obama himself, the Illinois Senator could move up in the coming weeks -- particularly on news of his United Auto Workers endorsement.  As things stand  now, he would still place second behind Edwards.

    3. Hillary Clinton -- Different sources tell vastly different stories  about the Clinton campaign in Iowa.  Some expect it to flop completely, but others point to poll numbers showing Clinton in the  top spot among Democratic candidates in Iowa.  All that said, her aura  of inevitability has been all but shattered by increased criticism over the past few weeks, and she seems to lack significant second choice support.  And her latest swing through Iowa highlighted her energy policy, something which may not resonate among working class women, which continues to be her key demographic.  Frankly, although the polls show Clinton in first place in Iowa, many of us have been hard pressed to find solid Clinton supporters whose names have not already appeared on a campaign press release.

    No guarantee they're right either.

    More from the poll (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 06:34:24 PM EST
    interesting that those polled find Bill Richardson has more experience than Obama. He's up to 11%.

    And, showing how Iowa is different than the nation, on immigration, Obama and Richardson are beating Hillary. Obama made it sound like he supported drivers' licenses for the undocumented at the debate weeks ago (but waffled at the last one) and Richardson said he had done that.  

    Maybe Hillary shouldn't have backed off that so fast.

    Waffle or your spin? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jgarza on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 08:13:01 PM EST
    How did he waffle? He said he supported them.  He tried to give a complex explanation, which as we all know was not politically smart, but he never backed away.  The only people who have waffled and flip flopped on this are Hill and Edwards.  Edwards from 04 to know and Hillary from 2 weeks ago till now.

    Oh and from your post on Novak:

    Even though Novak published it today, it seems dated, like something he has been sitting on:

        It comes during a dip for the front-running Clinton after she refused to take a stand on New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's now discarded plan to give driver's licenses to illegal aliens.

    That period was weeks ago.

    Maybe CNN and Lou Dobbs forgave her for throwing Hispanics under the bus, but it doesn't look like voters have.

    In fact my theory is that even if you don't think immigrants should get DL's, it was scary to see how quickly she will toss someone under the bus, when someone attacks from the right.  Is she really going to fight "the right wing machine" for me?


    What is interesting here (4.00 / 1) (#10)
    by virginia cynic on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:36:02 PM EST
    is that CNN's attempt to help Clinton has not picked up her numbers and that Big Tent Democrat's  tent apparently does not cover those who question Hillary and her beliefs.
    Sure she's better than the republicans but does that say much?

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:39:02 PM EST
    apparently Iowa has the same problem with Edwards that I do.

    Your pleasure at Edwards (none / 0) (#26)
    by virginia cynic on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 08:38:13 PM EST
    loss of 3 points and Obama's gaining of those 3 and your past championing of Clinton appear to ignore the fact that when one combines Edwards and Obama's numbers Hillary is quite far back and what I believe is a far greater likelihood that Edwards supporters would if necessary switch to Obama long before they would move to Hillary.

    You got numbers for that? (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 09:00:39 PM EST
    All of the polls I've seen say that Hillary is a very popular second choice.

    from the Post's numbers (none / 0) (#34)
    by virginia cynic on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 10:58:21 PM EST
    "Iowa Democrats are tilting toward change, and Obama appears to be benefiting from it.

    Fifty-five percent of those surveyed reported that a "new direction and new ideas" are their top priority, compared with 33 percent who favored "strength and experience." That is a shift from July, when 49 percent sought change and 39 percent experience.

    Nationally, Clinton is viewed as a candidate of change, with support from 41 percent of Democrats seeking a new direction in a recent Post-ABC poll. But in Iowa, Obama dominates the "change" vote, winning 43 percent of that group, compared with 25 percent for Edwards and 17 percent for Clinton."

    I think that the idea is that O and E are real changes from the ruling Democratic  groups while Clinton is stuck with the DLC types except nationally where the analysis by voters is not as nuanced.
    The rest is just my sense that O and E are perceived by many people for whom the war is very large as Obama who was against it from the first and Edwards who admited that it was a huge error and wants to make sure that Iran is not next and Clinton who voted to give Bush authority( a dubious vote at all levels) and whose Iran position is locked into Bush logic.


    From the Iowa Poll (none / 0) (#38)
    by Geekesque on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 09:00:19 AM EST
    According to Democratic Party rules, a candidate must draw at least 15 percent at each caucus site for the votes to count; if that fails to happen, their supporters often throw their votes to a more viable contender. Combining the second-choice picks of candidates outside the top three, 34 percent would select Obama, 28 percent Edwards and only 15 percent Clinton.

    yes (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by taylormattd on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 06:24:10 PM EST
    poor beleaguered JRE. As if he wasn't the darling of the 'netroots' for 8 months.

    Edwards shooting for the vice presidency? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Aaron on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 04:39:42 PM EST
    I was wondering about this, if Edwards is hoping for the vice presidential seat on an Obama ticket.

    I talked to a few Edwards supporters in Iowa recently, and they seemed to still be staunchly supporting their candidate, regardless of the polls.  Some were even unwilling to voice their second choice when asked.

    Edwards should be worried (none / 0) (#2)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 04:59:46 PM EST
    He's seeing a huge drop in support from older voters.  Age 65 and over dropped from 36% in July to 18%.  That's a devastating drop in a reliable voting group.

    This strategy is a disaster.  I don't know if he can make up ground at this point.

    The only ray of hope for him in these numbers is that, among those who have attended a caucus before, Obama is at 27 and Edwards is at 26 (Clinton is at 21).    

    Obama and Clinton have big numbers among first time caucus goers - but they have to actually get them there.  If it snows, if they are still hung over from New Year's ... you never know.

    Edwards is on a kamikaze mission (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:02:15 PM EST
    It is inexplicable.

    It's inexplicable (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:24:35 PM EST
    unless he IS trying to help Obama.

    Gephardt redux (none / 0) (#36)
    by joejoejoe on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 03:36:42 AM EST
    Gephardt kneecapped Dean in '04 along with that Bob Torricelli funded negative ad campaign. I think Edwards is driving up HRC's negatives (and his own) on purpose. Gephardt had a cabinet post all lined up in a Kerry administration and I think Edwards has the same in mind with an Obama administration. Obama and Edwards aren't very different on the substance of their policies today even though the netroots has very different responses to their very different rhetoric.

    Got to check in with my 76-year old step-mother, (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:01:33 PM EST
    who is a big Edward supporter (she likes Elizabeth) and voted for him in the caucus last time around.

    Here's her reply: (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 10:42:12 PM EST
    I'm still planning on voting for Edwards.  I heard Obama speak here a couple of weeks ago and he is pretty impressive.  Would be my second choice.  He called [local UAW rep.]  personally to inquire about the UAW in this area SE Iowa].  As far as I know they will support him.

    Where Clinton got hurt is in the internals (none / 0) (#5)
    by Geekesque on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:07:56 PM EST
    She's lost 8 points to Obama in the "strongest leader" question, five points to him in the empathy question, and 16 points in the Experience question.  She really took a hit in the Experience category, going from 50% most experienced to 38%.

    Most important number:

    Who do you trust most to handle the situation in Iraq (previous poll # in parentheses)

    Obama:  26 (17) +9
    Clinton:  23 (29) minus 6

    She lost 15 points to him on the Iraq question.


    New ideas gained 12 points vs. experience in terms of what voters are looking for.

    Ah the internals (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:18:04 PM EST
    Sure. Let me ask you a serious question, you take polling seriously don't you?

    Internals are crap.

    Political polling is crap.

    Have you never seen Mark Penn spew any sort of BS based on "internals?"

    Obama is leading now, thanks to Edwards. That seems true to me.

    Remember when we were discussing this and you told me Obama was going to let Edwards do the dirty work, and I asked why in gawd's name would Edwards do that?

    You were right and I was wrong but I still have to ask "why in gawd's name did Edwards do that?

    I think he is finished now. Shocking. He now will look like a spoilewr and Obama, IF he stays away from going negstive, will siphon away a lot more from him. Obama could win Iowa big now.


    Also Inexplicable (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by BDB on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:29:39 PM EST
    Why Obama has gone negative the last couple of days on the Novak and Gerth stuff? Yes, he has to fight back, but using two rightwing sources seems a weird way to do it. Edwards has - for some bizarre reason - been doing his dirty work for him. Obama should let him.

    A lot of it is crap. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Geekesque on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:25:20 PM EST
    I think you're also seeing the JJ Dinner aftermath in this poll.

    Edwards thinks that people want to see someone who will FIGHT and show BACKBONE etc etc.  The whole knock on Obama in some circles--that he's not willing to scrap enough--has a converse that works well in Iowa.  


    Misread imo (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:40:57 PM EST
    They do not like Dems attacking dems on "character" issues.

    Obama has, up until this weekend, done a good job of avoiding that pitfall.

    As I say, he now stands well poised to capture Iowa.

    Then it is a two person race.


    That's the plan, anyways. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Geekesque on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:56:26 PM EST
    It'll either be a two-person or one-person race after Iowa.

    Edwards is doing the dirty work for him (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:59:01 PM EST
    Sorry, I am still amzed by that.

    Trippi is a idiot.


    I'm Amazed, Too (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by BDB on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 06:02:02 PM EST
    I know only one thing about winning Iowa and that's the voters there hate personal attacks. If Edwards had Obama's money, I could understand it. He could just be trying to stop the Clinton steamroll and then hope to compete with a weakened Clinton elsewhere.  But Edwards doesn't have Obama's money and his entire campaign is Iowa-based. Weird.

    My explanation? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 06:10:22 PM EST
    Trippi is a blithering idiot.

    It's all the more (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by taylormattd on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 06:07:51 PM EST
    inexplicable given that Edwards was actually tied or ahead in Iowa for much of the time.

    Who knows, we could all be wrong when new polls come out next week, but it sure looks like he's campaigning himself out of a lead right now . . .


    Because of this (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 06:09:26 PM EST
    Obama is more likely to be President today than he has been in the enitre campaign.

    Have you never seen Mark Penn (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jgarza on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 10:51:00 PM EST
    I love how in awe you are of Clinton's campaign team.  You have something in common with many of the MSM's talking heads.  When you don't know what you area talking about, you just fall back on what Clinton's team says.  They are the establishment consultants, they have to be right!

    Quite an amusing comment. (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 10:54:19 PM EST
    Iowa is a caucus state (none / 0) (#15)
    by Gisleson on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 05:59:52 PM EST
    I'd take these numbers with several grains of salt if I were you. Polls generally fail to predict the caucuses because turnout is a lot more work than talking to a phone pollster.

    The Center for an Independent Media's Iowa website is calling it for Edwards, Obama and Clinton, in that order. This gibes much more closely with what people on the ground in Iowa are saying.

    And, fwiw, Edwards is VERY popular in Iowa.

    fwiw (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 06:08:15 PM EST
    Not much to me. Your opinion of Edwards' popularity in Iowa I mean.

    Oh, and (none / 0) (#17)
    by Gisleson on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 06:04:12 PM EST
    I didn't notice this was an ABC poll. I was assigned to cover a rural caucus for them on the Republican side in 1988. I made the mistake of calling in the results before the caucus formally began and they raised holy hell with my supervisors who just rolled their eyes because they knew how things worked.

    My results were exactly correct. The elderly Republicans had already moved on to coffee and cake by the time the caucus was officially supposed to start. They knew everyone who'd be in attendance, and who they supported. And they were exactly correct. Nothing under the table, just neighbors who really do know their neighbors.

    Again, I strongly caution you against taking any polling data out of Iowa seriously.

    Edwards' chances (none / 0) (#28)
    by diogenes on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 09:42:31 PM EST
    In reality, Edwards has NO chance running head to head in a gentlemanly way against Hillary.  His only chance is to tear her down and then look presidential next to Obama.  Slim chance is better than none, I guess.
    The more people know Obama the more they like him.  He isn't like the unlikable dweeb Mike Dukakis, who managed to lose the last election of this sort in 1988 to George HW Bush.  Obama is much superior to Jimmy Carter, and even Carter managed to beat Ford the last time the republicans were out of steam in 1976.  
    As I remember it, a lot of you older libs were quite happy with RFK running for the presidency although he was just as young as Obama and had only been in the senate for three and a half years.

    yeah but (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jgarza on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 10:30:51 PM EST
    RFK has a presidential lineage and apparently there are some in the democratic party that thing the White House is something you inherit.

    And some in the Republican party (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 10:55:11 PM EST

    Can you feel it? The political winds are shifting (none / 0) (#35)
    by Aaron on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 12:05:59 AM EST
    As I wrote here some weeks ago, when Hillary had a 20 point lead, and was considered a mortal lock for the nomination, the people prefer Barack Obama, once they've had a chance to get to know him.

    This long election cycle is working in his favor, and if he wins Iowa, then this may become one of the most interesting and hotly contested campaigns for the Democratic nomination in history.  And that will be good for America.

    A few weeks ago it looked like Obama had to win Iowa in order to keep his campaign alive, now it looks like Hillary needs to win Iowa, in order to shut down the Obama train, which is only going to pick up momentum over the coming year.

    Things keep going like this and it may be Barack who offers the the vice presidents seat to Hillary.  :-)

    I'll be going back to Iowa to work for my candidate, I would advise you Clinton supporters to sacrifice some of your leisure time and do the same, that is what America needs in this election, for her people to get involved and make some sacrifices.  

    And may the best candidate win, the candidate chosen by the American people, the candidate who stands in representation of the American people, the candidate who hasn't forgotten who turns the wheels that keep this country moving, the candidate who remembers to show respect for the people's sovereignty, may that candidate be fortunate enough to earn the privilege of representing us.  

    Obama 08

    I've been an Edwards leaner (none / 0) (#37)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 07:21:49 AM EST
      but he has run a very poor campaign thus far. I'm not one who thinks campaigning skills truly have much of a bearing on whether one will be good office-holder, and in fact tend to think the opposite-- that the "skills" and attributes  that make people successful campaigners often correlate highly  with pandering or even corruption. But, I accept that where races are covered like game shows the poor campaigning can doom a candidate.

      I will say that for all the other candidates, anyone other than Hillary   prevailing in Iowa or NH at least keeps hope alive. Knocking down the frontrunner can leave the door open for those besides the one who knocks her down. If she consolidates her position early it could be all over but the shouting. Edwards would obviously be better off he won Iowa but the next best thing is Obama winning. It's unlikely to work but there is the often discussed if rarely occuring the scenario where the two frontrunners attack each other and alienate the voters so much that the guy on the sidelines is left standing.