Saturday, August 04, 2007

Clinton Pulling Away?

If you look at the latest trends in the national polls, it would appear that Clinton is pulling away from Obama in a two-person race, with Edwards fading. If you average all the polls from mid July to the present, you find the following:
Clinton 41%
Obama 24%
Edwards 11.3%
Gore (where included) 11.7%

As early as mid-June, the gap between the two frontrunners was around 9%. Since that time, Clinton's support has swelled, while Obama has remained stagnant. These trends, in spite of the fact, that Obama outpaced Clinton in fundraising for the second quarter, in both the number of donors and total figures. The current gap in support of 17% is large by any measure, which suggests a measure of "inevitability" around Clinton.

However, national polls are a very incomplete part of the story in the Democratic primary system, the state findings convey a much more competitive race, with no clear frontrunner. In the Iowa, first in the nation caucus, the average polling finds:
Clinton 26%
Edwards 24.7%
Obama 19.3%
Richardson 11.7%
Translation-still anybody's to win, with an incredible amount of momentum at stake. We also see stagnant numbers, which means Clinton's national uptick hasn't translated to Iowa itself.

Nevada caucus, five days after Iowa:
Clinton 41%
Obama 18%
Edwards 8%
Of all the early contests, probably the least significant, given the more robust campaigning in Iowa, and the looming vote in New Hampshire. I don't consider this a make or break caucus for any of the contenders.

Next up, the all important first primary in New Hampshire. Again, a tight race:
Clinton 30.3%
Obama 26.3%
Edwards 10.7%
Richardson 8.3%
Obama has the momentum here, with Edwards fading badly, Clinton stagnant. Another important factor, Clinton's negatives are almost double Obama's in New Hampshire, which would tend to give Obama the edge in ability to grow his numbers in the future

South Carolina primary next, again no clear gap:
Clinton 34%
Obama 30%
Edwards 14.5%
The trends show a tightening, Clinton actually enjoyed a wider margin in earlier polls. Pretty weak numbers for Edwards, considering his supposed "southern appeal".

Florida, same day:
Clinton 39.5%
Obama 17.8%
Edwards 10.8%

The one state, where Clinton enjoys a massive lead. However, if Obama could pull off South Carolina, which is feasible, no one emerges with any clear momentum.

If you look at other state polls, you find Clinton well ahead, but those are largely irrelevant, when you factor in the historical significance of these early contests. The good news for Clinton, she is the only one to score well in all the races, whereas the others show some weakness. You could still classify Clinton as the frontrunner, but the primary picture is far different than the national polling suggests.


James Curran said...

John Edwards will begin to climb the ladder soon. After Iowa he will catch fire.... especially when people REALLY understand Gore IS NOT running.

Steve V said...

I'm not sure how you conclude the Gore vote moves to Edwards en masse, but if he can get the same key newspaper endorsements in Iowa that he did in 04, he could have serious mo. It's still early, but the challenge will be reminding the media that Edwards is still a top-tier contender. I don't know if you caught the last debate, but there were several references that omitted Edwards, as though it had become a two person race.

Anonymous said...

Edwards better have a little less "mummy" support from his wife to look like a leader. I think she's hurting him. She seems to be the one in control.

I'm quite tired of her phony goody-goodiness and coming out like mamma bear if Edwards is criticized. Besides, he supposedly working for the poor and has just earned $800,000 from the Murdoch deal.

Anonymous said...

To finish what is apparently the unwritten criticism above,

" . . . because no one who makes a lot of money could possibly care about the poor."

Something that apparently is true in conservative circles so they can't imagine it any other way.

Darren McEwen said...

I really like Edwards and I was optimistic but I don't see him gaining much mo'. He's going to have to pour it ALL into Iowa and even if he wins that state the momentum from Iowa isn't going to be enough.

I think Hillary will have an easier time with this nomination than I originally thought -- unless things go "Dean" for her.

Steve V said...

"I think Hillary will have an easier time with this nomination than I originally thought -- unless things go "Dean" for her."

No matter who is your choice, I think you have to acknowledge that Hillary has performed well to date, with no real gaffes to speak of.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to sound all gushy on this, because I'm quite the realist.

But I've been watching Hillary Clinton for a long time, long before anyone even mentioned her as a presidential candidate, when it wasn't even clear she could win her senate seat.

I have never, ever seen her speak in public or in an interview when I wasn't completely impressed with how she conveyed her thoughts.

I think that is where some people get the impression she is arrogant or too rehersedl. But when I see her speak, I don't see rehearsed in the sense of "she doesn't know what she really thinks - she just reading lines". I just see someone who thinks very carefully about what she believes on any given topic and then expresses it very precisely. She reminds me a bit of Tony Blair in that sense, in that whether you agree with him or not, he has a very specific, clear cadence of expressing exactly what he wants to say on any given topic.

And, frankly, I find that refreshing. I would much rather see a President like that than one (current case in point) that makes me cringe when I hear a sloppy, simplistic, arrgoant sound-bite like answer. And, in the case of Bush, I am still not sure he sometimes understands what he reallly believes beyond his own simple, surface instinct.

Steve V said...


Agreed. Clinton answers with detail, conveying a sense of competence, that makes her look ready to hit the ground running.

Anonymous said...

I've known for quite a while now, that Clinton would walk away with this. Oct. 30, 2006