Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Washington Post: Edwards Remains Formidable Threat In Iowa
According to this Washington Post story:
The top three Democratic presidential contenders remain locked in a close battle in Iowa, with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) seeing her advantages diminish on key issues, including the questions of experience and which candidate is best prepared to handle the war in Iraq, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll.
Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) draws support from 30 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa, compared with 26 percent for Clinton and 22 percent for former senator John Edwards (N.C.). New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson received 11 percent.
....[Clinton] appears more vulnerable on questions of character. Thirty-one percent found Obama to be the most honest and trustworthy, about double the percentage who said the same of Clinton. While about three-quarters credited both Obama and Edwards with speaking their mind on issues, only 50 percent said Clinton is willing enough to say what she really thinks. Forty-five percent said she is not sufficiently candid.
...And despite widespread impressions that Obama is banking on unreliable first-time voters, Clinton depends on them heavily as well: About half of her supporters said they have never attended a caucus. Forty-three percent of Obama's backers and 24 percent of Edwards's would be first-time caucus-goers. Previous attendance is one of the strongest indicators of who will vote.
Clinton's reliance on new voters helps explain her campaign's recent push to drive up attendance on caucus night -- including a new "caucusing is easy" video featuring former president Bill Clinton and a hamburger -- and also illustrates why Edwards, with his cadre of experienced caucus-goers, remains a formidable threat.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Hillary vs Edwards (Part 2)
So there was yet another Democratic debate last night.
Barack Obama seemed confused on whether he was taking on Hillary or not, and ended up waffling no better than Hillary, and the rest of the candidates also tiptoed around Hillary (criticizing but then taking it back, or denying that their criticism was targeted at Hillary when it obviously was). Edwards on the other hend had the guts to continue to take on Hillary last night.
In response, Hillary Clinton went on the attack against John Edwards. Why? Because John Edwards has proven himself to be the most effective and articulate challenger to Hillary, and he is defining the race, by leading on the issues that matter most to voters. No more inevitablity that Clinton will be the nominee, no more coronation – the race for the Democratic nomination is on.
Edwards once again clearly defined the choice that voters face – whether to allow powerful special interests to continue to corrupt our country (as some candidates continue to accept money from them...since lobbyists are Americans, too, or represent Americans, y'know) or choose a new path. Edwards clearly articulated his fundamental differences on the issues with Hillary, once again pointing out her “double talk” on ending the war in Iraq, going to war with Iran and Social Security.
Hillary decided to accuse Edwards of mud-slinging (a nice sound bite that made the news this morning...since the comment about the boys piling on, or them Swiftboating her, had backfired after the last debate and made people question her and Bill Clinton).
You know, it isn't OK to question anyone in this country any more, especially not the Democratic royalty, the Clintons (George W.'s "you're either with us or against us" way of thinking comes to mind). So Edwards responded by making it clear that this was not personal but it was important for voters to understand the difference between Hillary and the other candidates.
Edwards noted that while Hillary says she will bring change to Washington, “she continues to defend a system that does not work, that is broken, that is rigged and is corrupt; corrupted against the interest of most Americans and corrupted for a very small, very powerful, very well-financed group.” And it was Edwards stood up for those who just want honest answers from their next president on something besides "diamonds or pearls" -- the last question from the audience last night (which of course was not really answered either in true Hillary fashion...she likes both).
Said Edwards: “There's nothing personal about this. There is a fundamental choice that everyone in this room and Democratic voters have to make. This is about what America needs to be. And I think people are entitled to know that they have choices. This is about those 35 million people who are hungry every single year. When is our party going to show a little backbone and strength and courage and speak up for those people who have been left behind?”
Rather than waffling between “primary mode” and “general election mode,” as Hillary's advisors have said she must do, Edwards feels it is important for the next president to tell the truth. Always. As he puts it, “It’s our responsibility as presidential candidates to be in tell the truth mode. All the time.”
Edwards’ campaign has increasing momentum (and from Nevada last night, Edwards heads to California today). This week, he became the first Democrat to go up on television in South Carolina. And earlier this month, he launched his first major television buy in Iowa and New Hampshire, a 60-spot entitled “Heroes” in which Edwards reaffirms his commitment to stand up and fight for America’s true heroes – the working men and women of our country. In the spot, Edwards stakes out a firm position, saying: “It is time for our party, the Democratic Party, to show a little backbone, to have a little guts. To stand up for working men and women. If we are not their voice, they will never have a voice.”
Just this week, Edwards launched a new health care television spot, focusing on his promise to submit legislation on the first day he takes office as president that ends health care coverage for the president, all members of Congress, and all senior political appointees in the legislative and executive branches of government on July 20th, 2009 -- unless Congress has enacted universal health care reform.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
New York Times: Face Time Important to Iowa, NH
According to this New York Times Caucus Blog story dated November 13, 2007, face time is especially important in Iowa and NH according to a recent poll of likely caucus and primary voters in these two states. And the winning candidate in Iowa will impact many voters in NH (as it did last time around when Kerry was behind roughly 20 points in NH but after winning Iowa, with Edwards a close second, Kerry won NH by about 20 points -- a 40 percent flip in poll numbers!).
With their early contests, Iowa and New Hampshire have lured the presidential candidates to their states – and voters there say the face time matters.
Broad majorities of Democratic and Republican voters in both Iowa and New Hampshire say how much time a candidate has spent in their state is an important factor in their vote decision, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News polls. About seven in 10 voters in each state say so, including about 1 in 4 who call it “very” important.
Iowans are set to cast the first votes in the nation on January 3. New Hampshire has not yet set the date of its primary, though it is expected to follow shortly after Iowa.
Many New Hampshire primary voters will be watching the Iowa caucuses to help them decide which candidate to support. Nearly four in 10 voters there – especially women – say the results in Iowa will play at least a somewhat important role in their decision.
The Iowa poll was conducted by telephone November 2-11 with 1,273 caucus voters and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. The New Hampshire poll was conducted Nov. 9-12 with 719 primary voters and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Complete poll results and story are available here.
New York Times: Polls Find Voters Weighing Issues Vs. Electability
According to today's this New York Times story on a recent poll findings:
None of the Democrats has a statistically significant lead in Iowa: Mrs. Clinton has the support of 25 percent of respondents, Mr. Edwards 23 percent and Mr. Obama 22 percent. Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who has waged a spirited campaign in the state, was named by 12 percent of Democratic caucusgoers.
In New Hampshire, Mrs. Clinton leads with 37 percent, compared with 22 percent for Mr. Obama and 9 percent for Mr. Edwards. Among Republicans, Mr. Romney has the support of 34 percent of respondents, while Mr. Giuliani and Mr. McCain - who won the state in 2000, and has always described it as a warm environment for him - each have the support of 16 percent.
The findings underlined the challenge Mrs. Clinton faces in fighting criticism that she is politically calculating rather than principled, which appears particularly prevalent in Iowa.
Forty-seven percent of Iowa caucusgoers said Mrs. Clinton said what she believed, compared with 48 percent who said she told voters what they wanted to hear. In New Hampshire, where the Clintons have been a strong force in Democratic politics since 1992, 54 percent said Mrs. Clinton said what she believed, while 38 percent said she said what people wanted to hear.
Voters have clearly rallied around one central part of Mr. Obama's message: 37 percent of respondents in Iowa described him as the candidate most likely to bring change to Washington. But Mrs. Clinton's effort to present herself as having the experience to be president has clearly taken hold: 80 percent of Iowa voters described her as prepared to be president, compared with 68 percent who said that of Mr. Edwards and just 42 percent who said that of Mr. Obama.
The Nation: “Edwards Is Right, Obama’s Wrong, Clinton’s Useless”
According to John Nichols in The Nation, Senator Edwards is “reading the issue right” when it comes to the Peru Free Trade Agreement and the heated debate surrounding the vote in Congress.
Senator Edwards opposes the Peru deal and others like it “that have long failed our workers and cost American workers their jobs…It’s time to show some guts and backbone, stand up and oppose this trade deal, and demand trade policies that put families and workers first.”
Edwards: Sharpening Critiques In Iowa
According to this Washington Post story from November 5, 2007:
If you're trying to take down your opponents while remaining polite, you might sound like John Edwards did as he stumped through Eastern Iowa on Sunday.
"There's a proposed trade deal on Peru, which I'm opposed to. .. I have to tell you, I think Senator Obama is for it, but at least he's taken a position. Senator Clinton I don't think has taken a position," Edwards said.
...Welcome to the last two months before the Iowa caucuses, where with little time left before the voting, the candidates are not only campaigning more intensely than ever-- Clinton and Edwards spent their weekends in the Hawkeye state -- but they're actually critiquing their opponents by name. And they're making their closing arguments about what polls and their own words suggest Iowa voters want more than anything else: change.
"Part of our challenge over the next two months is to make that more and more clear," said Edwards's deputy campaign manager Jonathan Prince of the candidate's themes and how Edwards can convince voters his ideas for overhauling the system are more important than Clinton's proposals.
Of course, Clinton may have provided a small opening. Carol Herman, a retired woman in Waverly, Iowa, where Edwards spoke, said she was deciding between Obama, Edwards and Clinton and was now leaning against Clinton because "she was vacillating back and forth" at the debate, which contrasted with the "straightforward" Edwards. Of course, Herman lives in Iowa, so she can base her decision on more than just a nationally televised debate: Clinton is due in Waverly today.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Edwards Hitting Campaign Trail Hard
According to this New York Times story dated November 13, 2007:
Mr. Edwards and his staff members are exceeding his rivals in terrain and time, having rolled through all 99 counties and spent nearly 60 days in Iowa alone since late December, when he announced his candidacy. He has hit towns so off the beaten path that a Des Moines Register columnist, David Yepsen, called them places “where Democrats are ordinarily found only on endangered species lists.”
But it is not just the miles that have been hard fought. In his speeches, Mr. Edwards is equally intense, bluntly asking people to caucus for him and laying bare details of his life, like the recurrence of his wife’s cancer, that prompt forays into deeply personal territory.
Some of his listeners have taken notice. In Dover, N.H., Diane Carson, 58, said she asked Mr. Edwards a question about cancer, which had killed her husband, because she felt “simpatico” with him.
“One other thing absolutely blew my socks off,” Mrs. Carson said. “He locked his eyes on my eyes. He never looked away. In the end he had to go on to his agenda, and he did his thing. But he never stopped looking directly into my eyes.”
“And I have seen a lot of these guys,” Mrs. Carson continued. “I have never experienced that before.”
John Edwards: How He'll Deliver Universal Health Care As President
Here's the 2nd video that started airing in Iowa today.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Edwards Speech at Iowa Dem Party's Jefferson Jackson Dinner
Here's a link to the complete video of John Edwards' recent speech at the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Des Moines linked off the Iowa for Edwards website.
John Edwards called on America to rise up and meet the great moral test of our generation - ensuring that our children have a better, more prosperous life than we've had.
Coverage of this event and the "significant momentum growing behind John's campaign, The Edwards Extra is printing a special Jefferson Jackson Dinner edition, following the highly successful Harkin Steak Fry edition in September and the 99-County edition last month."
Friday, November 9, 2007
Send Bill Clinton To Africa?!
In this Reuters article titled, funnily, "Hillary Clinton defends Bill for defending her" where Hillary responded to questions about Bill Clinton after her stumbling in the last Democratic debate and Bill Clinton's over the top comparison of criticism of Hillary to the Swif-boating of John Kerry:
Was she comfortable with Bill's role in the campaign? she was asked.
"Absolutely," Clinton said. "I am so happy to have his help in this campaign. He obviously counsels and advises me every single day."
...Arianna Huffington, editor of the liberal blog, Huffingtonpost.com, was not impressed by the former president's efforts recently.
"He's becoming a liability," she told MSNBC. "Send him to Africa."
Iowa on January 3 holds the first of the state-by-state battles to choose the Democratic and Republican candidates who will vie for the U.S. presidential election on November 4, 2008.
A win in Iowa can generate momentum for the next state contest in New Hampshire, and beyond, and Clinton is locked in a three-way battle with Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.