The December 24th issue of Newsweek has coverage of John Edwards campaign for President as it’s cover story.Ã‚Â
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.Ã‚Â 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.Ã‚Â I seem to remember Howard Dean being viewed and polling this far outÃ‚Â as invincible in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Of course, the only poll that really matters is done on election day.