December 17, 2007

Edwards gets cover treatment, Lieberman endorses McCain, and papers issue endorsements

John Edwards gets some love from Newsweek with a cover and accompanying story, which explains that his campaign is hoping that his work in rural areas of Iowa (Edwards has visited every one of Iowa's 99 counties) will gain enough votes to offset any possible losses in the states larger cities. As the story notes, in Iowa, "... a precinct where 25 people show up to vote gets the same number of delegates as a place that packs in 2,500."

It's good to see some media attention to a campaign that is actually in a statistical dead heat with both Obama and Clinton in Iowa.

Edwards also scored another "get" when he received the endorsement of Iowa first lady Mari Culver, wife of Iowa governor Chet Culver, who is remaining officially neutral in the race. (turn down your volume before watching this QC Times video clip. It's insanely loud.) The Des Moine Register account notes that former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack's endorsement of John Kerry was regarded as important in his upset Iowa victory in '04 and he hopes Culver's will have the same effect.

Edwards also stands to gain due to the little mentioned but very important "second choice" factor in Iowa.

According to Iowa caucus rules, a candidate has to get at least 15% of votes in a caucus for their votes to be registered. If they fail to meet that threshold, that candidate's supporters are then free to switch their votes to any candidate who does meet the threshold.

This means that supporters of Kucinich, Biden, Dodd, and Richardson are being courted by the big three. These "second choice" votes could make the difference in a tight race. Polls show that among supporters of second tier candidates most likely to fall below the 15% threshold, Edwards leads as their second choice.

Another little mentioned factor is that many college students will be returning home for vacation over the holidays and thus not able to caucus. This of course could potentially hurt any candidate who could otherwise expect a strong showing from younger voters, such as Obama.

It's definitely a jump ball in Iowa and January 3rd should prove exciting.

And our old pal Smokin' Joe Lieberman, a loathsome creature whom I've long held in low regard and whom many commenters here have angrily defended, has decided to see if he can impart some of that legendary "Joementum" on Republican Sen. John McCain by endorsing him for president. Guess he couldn't find a Dem that loves the war as much as he does. So glad the Dems picked him to be on the ticket in 2000.

Considering that Lieberman came in 5th in the New Hampshire primary when he ran, it's amazing that McCain even accepted the endorsement. Lieberman is undoubtedly a schmuck who wouldn't even be in the senate if it hadn't been for Republican support for his campaign. All the more reason to work for a large Dem senate pick-up to relegate Joe to the obscurity he deserves.

And for what it's worth, the Des Moines Register has issued their primary endorsements, backing Hillary Clinton in the Democratic field and John McCain for Republican.

The Boston Globe, the biggest paper in the New Hampshire market, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain.


At 12/18/2007 6:52 AM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

Dope, you made an interesting observation regarding college students being home for Christmas break and not being able to caucus.

My question is "can college studens caucus?" When I went to college, most students voted by absentee ballot, as their residence was usually in their home cities/states. I suppose that has all changed somewhat over the years (38+ to be exact), and I don't know the rules of the Iowa caucuses (I like your cuaci better), but I'm assuming that the students would have to re-register as residents of Iowa, no?

Then that brings up another question that I just now thought about. I'm registered in Illinois. I go to college in Iowa. I register in Iowa so I can caucus. What keeps me from voting twice - once in Iowa and once in Illinois?

At 12/18/2007 11:23 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


All good questions. I too am curious how college students can vote if they attend school in Iowa. I'd assume most are still registered in their home state (if it's not Iowa).

Not sure how all that works. Perhaps the issue is that students from out of state WANT to vote in the caucci, but will be back in their home states, therefore not able to do so.

Using our example of the Illinois resident who attends school in Iowa, even if he or she wanted to participate in the Iowa caucussesesss, they wouldn't be able to if they were home in Illinois over the hollidays.

I would assume that if a college student wanted to register to vote in Iowa, they could, provided they'd had a legal residence there for a specified amount of time, etc.

Most probably don't bother, and retain their registration at home, but for this election, I'm sure many wanted to participate in Iowa where it makes a huge difference, rather than their home state.

At 12/18/2007 1:37 PM, Blogger tiz said...

College kids in Iowa can vote in Iowa - all you need is an address. I think the auditor here is *supposed* to contact the auditor in the student's home state/district if they choose to vote here. I don't know how well that works though - my dad was telling me he saw my name listed at our old EM district 3-4 years after I had moved to (and voted in) Iowa.

I can tell you that everyone (from both sides) is doing damn near everything they can to get kids to come back on Jan 3rd. They're opening the dorms earlier in Ames for the cauci (hehe). Here in Iowa City we weren't able to get the dorms opened early but other arrangements (cheap hotels, places to crash, etc) are being made.

I think you'll see many more of the college kids caucusing this time around.. Probably not as many as I would like as an Obama supporter, but more than we saw in 2004.

At 12/20/2007 9:48 AM, Anonymous Nevada Bob said...

Smokescreen Joe endorses the Phoenix of Arizona ..........

The Wise Guy's have a name for this ...........' Muerta ' , the kiss of death.

The Shill of Zion., this mother of all mugwumps has just sunk the
Senator's ship.

Neither Joe or John cannot see the
plain fact that outside the Neo-Con World , nobody wants this war to continue.

Nevada Bob


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