How Edwards can, and will, win in Iowa

The December 24th issue of Newsweek has coverage of John Edwards campaign for President as it’s cover story. 

The Road Warrior
Even if he loses in Iowa’s bigger cities, Edwards can still win by wrapping up smaller, far-flung precincts.

On the stump, Edwards campaigns with the urgency of a man who is running out of time. He might be. A third-place showing in Iowa would likely spell the end of his campaign, and his presidential ambitions, for good. Yet Edwards believes he can still come from behind for an upset win. Political reporters may like the story line (and simplicity) of depicting Iowa as a Clinton-Obama smackdown, but Edwards’s strategists say that the media and pollsters are overlooking a more important, if less glamorous, story.

For months, Edwards has been rounding up support in the state’s rural precincts where the front runners have paid less attention. While Obama and Clinton have drawn crowds in the thousands in places like Des Moines and Ames, Edwards has been winning over people in tiny towns like Sac City (population: 2,189). That’s important, the strategists say, because under Iowa’s arcane caucus rules, a precinct where 25 people show up to vote gets the same number of delegates as a place that packs in 2,500.

In other words, even if he loses to Obama and Clinton in the state’s bigger cities, he can still win by wrapping up smaller, far-flung precincts that other candidates have ignored. “The bulk of our support is in small and medium counties,” says Jennifer O’Malley, Edwards’s Iowa state director. O’Malley says Edwards has visited all 99 counties in the state; the campaign has so far trained captains covering 90 percent of all 1,781 precincts.

While my colleague Andrew may think that Hillary may be “The One” for us, I have to disagree.  Her campaign is in freefall, while Edwards is remaining steady. The polls, even this close to the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries are fluid and not all that accurate.  I seem to remember Howard Dean being viewed and polling this far out as invincible in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Of course, the only poll that really matters is done on election day.

  8 comments for “How Edwards can, and will, win in Iowa

  1. Ellinorianne
    December 16, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    I agree. I am part of EENR at the Daily Kos and an avid Edwards supporter. Things just keep looking up for him. He’s quietly delivering his message and building support slowly. Yes, I know he’s been in Iowa forever, but people forget, Iowans don’t make up their minds until very closed to the caucus, the polls really do mean nothing. It does help that Edwards is hanging in there though.

    I wrote a piece on his new theme American Rising an I wanted to share it. There are rumors that a big endorsement is coming this week for someone in Iowa for Edwards. It won’t make or break his campaign, but it sure won’t hurt.

    Tim Robbins was great on the stump for John, I’m a huge fan, especially his satirical film “Bob Roberts”. He was against the war just as I was and it gives me hope that people can see that he realizes he was wrong and what is most important now is getting us out, rebuilding our relationship with the world, the environment and bringing back the middle class in this country so that America works for us, not just the rich and powerful.

    And here is this weeks edition of Edwards Evening News Round-up that I did, I’m also very proud of it.

    Glad to see some Edwards love at the Liberal OC 🙂

  2. Ellinorianne
    December 16, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Oops, here is the EENR, Happy Holiday Edition.

  3. Anonymous
    December 17, 2007 at 11:52 am

    He is indeed the strongest general election candidate. The stakes are simply too high to nominate Obama (untested) and Clinton (too divisive). We simply can not and should have another warmonger in the White House. As someone who is interested in the Horn of Africa humanitarian crisis, another 4 years of Republican will be unimaginable. 2 million women and children are dying in Somalia as a result of Bush Admin’s support of the war over there. John Edwards will better protect America and promote our interest in the world.

    Iowans, America is on your hand. Make a wise choice and vote for Edwards.


  4. Anonymous
    December 17, 2007 at 11:59 am

    I agree. Mr. Edwards is the only Democrat who can defeat all the Republicans. I know Iowans will take this process very seriously and will vote for Edwards! You should not be fooled by Opra and Bill hoopla. Without Opra and Bill, Both Hill and Barack will be nothing.

  5. Anonymous
    December 17, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    I can feel the Edwards victory in Iowa. He is the sleeper candidate. He will surprise the corporate owned media and the talking heads.

  6. Anonymous
    December 17, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Again, Iowans will teach the pundits lessons not learnt. Edwards will win hands down!

  7. RLG
    December 17, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    I was in Cedar Rapids, IA 6/2/07 and attended the annual Leadership Awards banquet. All the big Dems were there but for obummer. I sat at a table adjacent to Joe Biden for a $200 per plate chicken dinner. I listened intently as the candidates talked in turn about their vision for America.

    Biden by far had the best message.
    Richardson had the best credentials.
    Clinton looked most Presidential.
    I was disappointed in the message of Edwards that emphasized America’s place to save the rest of the world thru aid.

    I was back in Iowa 11/20/07 and attended a rally at Iowa CIty High School for John Edwards. Most of his message resignated well. I do disagree with him on the issue of nuclear energy as a means to meet the needs of our country’s energy needs.

    After all is said, I support John Edwards for our President with $ and time. His populist message resounds for me. And his disdain for lobbyists and corporate influence is what the country needs. Because of his veracity, he was not among those mentioned in the book “Hostile Takeover.”

    Mrs. Culver, Iowa’s governer’s wife, endorses Edwards. So do I.

  8. December 19, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    December 18, 2007

    It is still way too close to call in frost-bit Iowa, but the resurgent John Edwards has muscled his way to the top in the InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion poll of registered Democratic voters taken Sunday and Monday.

    With 30% support, Edwards leads Hillary Clinton’s 26%, and Barack Obama’s 24%. But in the all-important catagory of likely voters, Obama leads Edwards by less than one percentage point, and Clinton by more than three points.

    On the GOP side, it looks more and more like it is going to remain a two man race with Mike Huckabee leading Mitt Romney among registered GOP voters, 28% to 25%. Among likely voters, flip them around: Romney 28% and Huckabee 25%.

    What this all means is that at this point anybody who says they know who will win is guessing, and anybody who says they are sure they know who will win is lying.

    – Ken Bazinet

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