Thursday, December 14, 2006

Iowa for Edwards?

All of the media excitement in recent weeks has been focused on two names: Hillary and Obama. Yet in a poll released yesterday and reported in the Des Moines Register, it was John Edwards - 2004 VP nominee and second place finisher in the 2004 Iowa caucus - who led.

Here's the field, as identified by the Register:
Edwards 36% of "likely caucus goers"
Clinton 16%
Obama 13%
Vilsack 9%
Kerry 6%
Biden 5%
Clark 3%
Richardson 2%
Bayh <1%
Dodd <1%
Undecided 8%

A few points:
* The Harstad Strategic Research poll indicated it questioned "likely caucus-goers." Not clear from the Register article if in fact many of those people have caucused before (i.e., 2004), which in my experience is the best way to tell if they are truly likely to caucus in 2008.

* The Register also reported that "32 percent of the caucusgoers say global warming is an extremely serious problem," which may reflect the poll's sponsor, Environmental Defense (sic). May also reflect hidden Gore support.

* The poll was done Oct 12 to 19, but not released until yesterday. Obviously, that means that the data is stale, and the poll does not reflect the recent Obama-boomlet, Vilsack's announcement, and Hillary's pre-announcement.

* Kerry won Iowa in 2004; he is (as of October) mired in single digits. Morover, the poll was done before Kerry's "botched joke" in the late stages of the 2006 campaign.

* Vilsack, if he is running a serious campaign, must move his numbers by organizing his state. The question is: where will his support come from?

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