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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Is Edwards Done After Iowa?

Former Senator (NC) and Vice-President candidate John Edwards is quickly becoming John, Who? Four years ago he was receiving plenty of national attention, especially after he came in a strong second in Iowa. Of course the bigger stories at the time were the implosion of former Governor Howard Dean's (Vt.) campaign and the surprise first place finish of Senator John Kerry (Mass) in Iowa.

Once again Edwards is not the big story among the Democrats running for President and his "Two-Americas" theme of one for the rich and one for the poor, although accurate in many respects, is just not catching on with the voters.

Senator Edwards hired former Howard Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi to serve as a senior advisor and also hired the web-master used in the Dean campaign hopeful they could ignite the spark and enthusiasm received by Dean four years ago.

Unfortunately for Edwards, it just has not worked and his campaign is facing the Iowa caucuses in a make or break situation. All of the candidates now use the inter-net in an effective manner with even Republican Presidential candidate congressman Ron Paul raising huge sums online.

It also seems that many of the Republican and Democratic candidates for President are campaigning with a theme of there needs to be a change with the "inside the belt-way" mentality in Washington. This theme is also wearing thin on voters who want to see how a candidate will develop consensus that brings results and not just espouse the continued rhetoric in campaign slogans.

Yet his performance in Iowa could dramatically alter the outcome in the Democratic Presidential Primaries.

The most recent Polls show Senators Barack Obama (Illinois) and Hillary Clinton (NY) beating Edwards in Iowa with Governor Bill Richardson (NM) closing fast. If Edwards finishes third in Iowa his campaign is in big trouble. If he finishes fourth, he is done. The decision will most likely be made to stay on to the New Hampshire primary a week later. However, another third or fourth finish there will most likely result in his withdraw from the race.

He would no longer be able to compete in the new "Super Tuesday" primary in the first week in February when almost half of the states will be holding their elections.

It will then become pivotal as to who of the remaining Democratic candidates John Edwards will endorse. Although voters will ultimately decide who they vote for, an endorsement by a candidate who is polling at twelve per cent will have a significant impact on the "Super Tuesday" primaries.

It is doubtful his support would go to Hillary Clinton so his endorsement will come down to either Barack Obama or Bill Richardson. A strong showing by Richardson in Iowa (in the top three) will go a long way and an endorsement by Edwards would certainly help. However, one of the biggest obstacles facing Richardson presently is the lack of funds to compete on "Super Tuesday". Edwards may also feel that Obama has the best chance of beating Clinton and endorse him.

Stay tuned for results in Iowa will have a domino effect.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Edwards took the matching funds, so he'll have a pretty big cash infusion on January 2nd, 2008. The ridiculous date of the Iowa caucus--the 3rd--means those funds will be pretty much useless for Iowa.

(A side note here, there needs to be a commission on fixing the presidential nominating process. This year's system is a complete failure. Condensed national primaries cost too much money and reduce chances for citizen-to-politician communication. And the potential for there to be battles that *could* effect the nomination over the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations at the Democratic convention is another potential disaster. And I didn't even mention that voting so early also puts the election smack dab in the middle of winter. Let's say that after Feb 5th there are two candidates and that the Maryland and Virginia primaries are going to be really important--perhaps decide--the nominees. What if it snows 2 feet on February 5th? We have enough problems with getting enough election judges in Baltimore as it is. Add snow to the mix, and it's a total disaster. At the rate things are going, the first primary for the 2012 election will be held before the 2008 general election. Ok, enough with that rant. Fix the process and don't allow this mess to happen again, ever).

Back to Edwards, the matching funds will get him through February 5th. I don't really see why someone wouldn't stay in the race until February 5th. Whomever the front-runner might be in mid-January could have a "Howard Dean" moment, and it can't hurt to be sitting there as an alternative, even if you lost in Iowa.

I think that Richardson has a pretty good shot of getting the nomination. If it's not him, I think it'll be Obama. Clinton seems to be headed in the wrong direction.