by Jerome Armstrong, Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 10:21:43 AM EST
This is an incredible number of paid staff of Clinton. It's said that she's going to spend over $10M in Iowa, and this is a big chunk of it. The notion that a win by Clinton would be a "miracle" is pure spin. The extra 100-225 staffers spread out over the state gives Clinton an advantage over Edwards & Obama.
Have Axelrod & Plouffe hit their self-imposed "cap" yet? Looks like well above a million in consultant commissions so far for Obama's chief strategist & campaign manager-- just in Iowa (Obama's also already exceeded $3M in New Hampshire TV ads). Their latest, coming up with an idea of buying 5 straight minutes of television for Obama, across all the broadcast channels, reminds me of the last days of the Dean TV ad buy follies in Iowa. Clinton may be spending a total of $10M in Iowa, but Obama is gonna blow through over $10M on television alone in Iowa.
Does Obama really get anything more from buying an extra $5 million plus in television ads in Iowa than Edwards? Dean sure didn't gain anything against Kerry. It puffed up his lead till the closing week, just like Obama's lead got puffed up, but then it went poof, just like what seems to be happening to Obama. You'll never hear the media complain about the amount of television ads though, it's their revenue.
What I notice here again, and probably what the Edwards team wants one to see, is that Edwards is making an even greater investment into Iowa as Kerry did in 2004. I'm sure the extra field offices count for more, especially if it's local talent. This is an advantage for Obama & Clinton over Edwards, but not much, as Edwards has volunteers that are just as dedicated, and have their '04 experience.
Imagine this-- the myth that Edwards has lived in Iowa longer than the others this campaign just doesn't appear to be factually based. In fact, by historical standards, all the numbers are a bit low. During the 1988 campaign, Bruce Babbitt spent 118 days in Iowa, second to Dick Gephardt who spent 148 days there.
All in all what this shows for Edwards is two-fold: He's being massively outspent but he's doing well enough to win regardless.
I don't really buy the notion, as some bloggers do, that Edwards is damaged goods because he's under a limited budget for television ads through the primary. If that were really anyone's litmus test, then Obama would also be ruled out-- his having pledged to accept matching funds in the GE if the Republican candidate accepts too. Plus, unlike 2004, this isn't against Bush the incumbent that we are running for the next 9 months, it's likely a fractured GOP that is having trouble raising money. It's always a mistake to draw fundamental lessons from a previous election, each one is new, and if Edwards can win Iowa while getting outspent 4:1, money is not an issue-- Huckabee has been showing that to be the case for Republicans too. Anyway, I'm glad to have won one argument already, against the Obamafans who claimed Edwards would fade in Iowa-- especially against those that said it was simply because Edwards was being outspent by Obama.
[sources: Even though all the info in the graphs are from public news sources-- Ads, Staff, Visits (public info, see WaPost candidate tracker), Offices, the graphics were originally from the Edwards campaign.]