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.