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The Collective
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the Southern Political Report: Reallocated Numbers Based on Second Preferences Gives Edwards A Solid Lead

Using the same polling methodology that successfully predicted the outcome of the 2004 Democratic Caucus in Iowa, InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research has been conducting a daily tracking poll among likely voters in the Jan. 3 Iowa Democratic Caucus, and it shows a statistical tie between Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, with Barack Obama starting to lag.

Clinton has 30%, Edwards 29%, Obama 22%, with 14% committed to other candidates and 5% undecided.

The most interesting part is that the analysis takes into account the second choices, with the following outcome:

Critically, Edwards was the second choice of 62% of those who supported other candidates that did not receive the required 15% of the vote. Clinton was the second choice of 21% and Obama of 17%.

Using the reallocation methodology InsiderAdvantage used in 2004 – which correctly indicated a fairly comfortable win for John Kerry – our new poll reveals that, if the caucuses were held today, the reallocated final outcome would be:

Edwards: 41%
Clinton: 34%
Obama: 25%

Such a win would be a great boon for Edwards, and problematic for Obama. Ultimately I do not see this as altering Clinton’s front-runner status, as I don’t see Edwards seriously challenging Clinton in the long-run, so a big loss for Obama is more important to the Clinton campaign than is an Edwards win. Further, an Obama loss means that he didn’t make the sale (in Iowa, at least) as the agent of change that he is selling himself as. One would think that he would be doing better as a second choice than he is.

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Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | |

3 Comments

  1. If Edwards finishes first or even a close second, it is great news for Clinton. She probably can lose the nomination only if it quickly becomes a straight fight between her and one other. And that one other is much more likely to be Obama than Edwards, based on polling in other states.

    Not that I ever make predictions. Or would ever be right if I did…

    Comment by MSS — Wednesday, January 2, 2008 @ 11:47 am

  2. Independents in the Democratic caucus

    Only 54% of Dem caucus-goers say they are Dems. That tells us the GOP is in real trouble; however, if Dems nominate Clinton, it could be they who are in trouble.

    Trackback by Fruits and Votes — Wednesday, January 2, 2008 @ 11:54 am

  3. Also, on the “agent of change” aspect, with Obama having 39% of independents and with independents (plus some GOPsters) making up 46% of the likely caucus-goers-both according to the latest Des Moines Register poll-his claim would seem to be pretty good.

    The second preferences-if we can trust the methods of the cited poll-could be reflecting Dems’ own doubts about Obama rather than any failure by Obama to make the sale as an agent of change. By that I mean that it is not clear that supporters of candidates like Biden and Dodd are looking for change.

    (Richardson supporters, on the other hand, maybe could be categorized either way: their candidate is very much an insider and was part of the Clinton administration, but he has also staked out more of a “change” message on foreign policy than have Biden, Dodd, Clinton, Edwards, or even Obama.)

    Comment by MSS — Wednesday, January 2, 2008 @ 12:00 pm

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