She's trying to fear-monger herself into the nomination. It's really a tasteless kind of campaigning in my opinion. This is the kind of campaigns we don't need anymore. I hope Obama will come out with a strong statement on this.
Edwards already has...
Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Earlier today in New Hampshire, Senator John Edwards made the following comments when asked about Senator Hillary Clinton's comments yesterday that Republicans would have an advantage if there is another terrorist attack and that she is the best Democrat to deal with that.
"If we're talking about America being attacked the last thing we should do is be engaged in political calculation. What I would do is focus on uniting America and doing the things I need to do as president of the United States to keep this country safe."
In response to another question, Edwards said:
"Well first of all, I strongly disagree with what [Senator Clinton] said. [Senator Clinton] has said she believes that we are safer under George Bush, I strongly disagree with that. What I believe is that it is the responsibility of a presidential candidate, a serious presidential candidate, and the president of the United States when you're talking about something as serious as the potential for America to be attacked, to focus on what's good for America, not politics, and what needs to be done to keep this country safe, which is what I would do as president."
It looks like this race is now indeed very close in Iowa. It's going to a battle until the very end, which was always expected. Right now it looks like Edwards is losing the most, as far as his past support goes, however it will be interesting to see if he can pick up more liberal voters from Hillary in the future, which could be bigger in this particular caucus, considering there will be both Republican and Democratic caucuses this year.
Remember that this was an official Iowa debate. I think John Edwards went in on top and certainly left that way. This was his best debate thus far. He did a good job staying out of the disputes between Obama, Clinton, and the rest of the field and appeared as the one who could be the uniter among the field. He also did a good job handling the trade question. By my judging, he received the most applause from the crowd.
Richardson also did a very good job in this debate. He was able to stay out of the disputes and emphasize his experience. I think his line about representing both "change and experience" was really clever and highly received. He's going to be moving up a bit after this debate.
Obama performed well, but he didn't really have too many striking moments in the debate. His best comment was about how come the others, supposedly with experience, did not think about how we would get out of the war before they voted for it, also deflecting the question on his experience with how Rumsfeld and Cheney have handled the war. He did a good job answering the questions on his experience, but still I don't imagine the attacks help.
Clinton really just did not seem that great at all in this debate. She didn't have as many clever answers as in past debates and she could have done a better job answering the lobbying question. It really is going to be a big issue among Democratic primary voters. She didn't really receive much applause from the audience and while I'm not sure if she really hurt herself in the debate, I don't think she did anything to help her position in Iowa.
Everyone else was pretty much irrelevant in the debate.
I was looking at the trends and unfortunately there is no previous Peter Hart poll to go off of. However, even this poll confirms what I was saying. Edwards has moved up from the 8-11%, where polls had him June to early July. All three polls released recently now have him at 14-15%. Now Clinton is down in the 31-37% range and Obama is seeing a small rise, at least in the polls with trends. Either method you want to use, aggregate of all polls or trends in particular polls, Edwards is moving up.
It is true he does not have as many known activist supporters as Obama and Hillary. However, polls have shown he is getting most of his support from young people, perhaps new activists. He is also still doing best among moderates and Republicans.
Edwards is also going to win some Union endorsements this time. He will not win them all, but he is going to get a few, more than last time certainly.
This whole campaign is going to come down to the last few weeks and probably the last debate before Iowa. As long as Edwards builds a good ground opertion, wins union endorsements, and does well in the last few weeks like he did last time, he should be able to win Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada and pull it off.
I do also think the campaign is about the people, bottom-up. He is telling crowds to take action, that the country is the responsibility of everyone. That is why so many young people, who were never involved in politics or even voted, came out to the Iowa Caucuses in 2004 and voted for Edwards, even when the media was not even covering him. He does inspire leadership.
I think it has more to with the fact that Dave Weldon is not so popular. He led the fight to keep Terry Schiavo alive. He is also far-right on other issues. He has voted against all parts of the 100 Hours Plan so far: Minimum Wage, Stem Cell Research, Medicare Negotiation, 9/11 Commission.
As the numbers points out as well, the Republicans already do not have a huge voter advantage in the district. It is actually the district next to the one where I grew up.
The seat is definitely winnable if the Democrats field a funded candidate in 2008.