Iowa graphs

These graphics provide a good snapshot of the investments made by each of the top three candidates in Iowa.

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.]

Tags: 2008 election (all tags)



Re: Iowa graphs

I underestimated JRE. He has no more or less resources in IA then Kerry. JRE is sitting pretty at this point. I think JRE might pull out a IA victory, which could help his chances in NH and SC. Although, I still have faith in HRC. Excellent analysis Jerome.

by lonnette33 2007-12-29 10:36AM | 0 recs
I tried to tell you :-)

No one should be counted out at this point.

by desmoinesdem 2007-12-29 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: I tried to tell you :-)

I must admit, I've always liked JRE. He's my second choice. Although, he really upset me this summer with all the attacks on HRC. However, I'll take JRE over BO anyday desmoinesdem.

by lonnette33 2007-12-29 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: I tried to tell you :-)

Edwards has never made personal attacks on anyone though, which is why I think he's popular among all Democrats and would be a good uniter for the party.

by Progressive America 2007-12-29 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: I tried to tell you :-)
I can't resist calling Obama BO myself. I smirk everytime I write it.
by dkmich 2007-12-29 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: I tried to tell you :-)

"I am still very optimistic that Hillary can pull off a win."


by lonnette33 2007-12-30 05:24AM | 0 recs
Re: I tried to tell you :-)

When does the much touted DMR poll come out? Tomorrow?

by arkansasdemocrat 2007-12-29 11:22AM | 0 recs
they usually publish it on Sundays

but I had heard from someone that it would come out only a day or two before the caucuses. I don't know what's right.

I am tuning out polls for now. Basically it's a tight race that anyone could win, and ground game will probably decide it.

by desmoinesdem 2007-12-29 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: they usually publish it on Sundays

Thanks for the info.

by arkansasdemocrat 2007-12-29 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: I tried to tell you :-)

I heard tomorrow, which means it should be online tonight.

by david mizner 2007-12-29 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

The latest polls show the race so tight among the candidates that I can't imagine that a result showing a winner by a few points could be considered significant at all. People should be looking more closely at NH, where someone might break out of the pack.

by shergald 2007-12-29 07:17PM | 0 recs
great post

I've been saying that after a certain point, money spent on tv in Iowa would have diminishing returns.

The idea that Clinton would need a "miracle" to win Iowa is just laughable. She's only got a former two-term president and a former two-term governor campaigning for her, the top campaign manager in Teresa Vilmain, a huge budget, the largest paid staff, and a slight edge among older and women voters (who are more likely to participate in caucuses). Oh yeah, and national media pushing her as the inevitable candidate for a lot of the year.

It should almost be considered a miracle that Clinton isn't running away with Iowa.

Any of the top three could win, but I think Edwards is right where he needs to be and will close strong.

by desmoinesdem 2007-12-29 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: great post

Of course the media is going to try to say Edwards has been there forever and he should have won it, after they've ignored him for the entire year, mind you. They're already trying to do it. But the facts just don't agree with what they're saying.

Quite frankly, it's a miracle we're still in this thing with how much we've been ignored, outspent, and the lack of an equivalent amount of staff.

This is kudos to the volunteers of the Edwards campaign and the hard working staff.

by Progressive America 2007-12-29 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: great post

Edwards has a big advantage: the skin color and gender that Iowa (and Mississippi) voters have historically prefered.

by hwc 2007-12-29 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: great post

Yes, accuse fellow Democrats of racism and sexism. That always works.

You refuse to admit that it is not the fault of Democrats, who have nominated several women in Iowa as their candidates for Governor and other offices.

But I understand, there are sore losers in every sport and apparently politics too.

by Progressive America 2007-12-29 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: great post

It is what it is.

And, it will be what it is until Iowans actually elect a woman to a major office.

If Iowans don't want to lumped in with Mississippi, then they should do something about it at the polls. 48 other states have.

by hwc 2007-12-29 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: great post

Democrats can't help what the Republicans do.

by Progressive America 2007-12-29 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: great post

True enough. The way I've got it sized up, it will probably be the Republicans who drag Iowa kicking and screaming into the 21st century and elect a woman to a major office.

by hwc 2007-12-29 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: great post

your posts like this are so annoying

by bluedavid 2007-12-29 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: great post

They are illuminating more than annoying. If only his candidate were as forthright in her manipulations.

by bruh21 2007-12-29 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: great post

The truth hurts. Iowans should be embarrassed being stuck in the last century with Mississippi.

They could use a new slogan: "Iowa, the OTHER lily-white state"

by hwc 2007-12-29 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: great post

If your absolutely ridiculous and comical position is so factual, then why do Clinton and Obama, a black man and a woman, garner close to 60% combined in the polls?

by Vox Populi 2007-12-29 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: great post

There's always the money factor. After all, the whole point of the topic was to point out how Edwards is being sharply outspent and still keeping up with Clinton and Obama.

by Nautilator 2007-12-29 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: great post

It would have been better if Jerome disclosed that all of this data came from a John Edwards press release:

From the WaPo: "the John Edwards campaign yesterday e-mailed reporters four graphs drawing on data from The New York Times,, CBS Evening News, and other public reports to counteract the impression that Edwards "has invested the most in Iowa," according to campaign spokesman Eric Schultz, when he has, in fact, made considerably smaller purchases of advertising air-time in the state than his rivals. Recent polls show the race in Iowa to be a three-way dead-heat." /2007/12/29/from_edwards_campaign_some_e xp_1.html

by joejoejoe 2007-12-29 01:50PM | 0 recs
by Jerome Armstrong 2007-12-29 02:47PM | 0 recs
Re: great post

Really, I thought you said she was going to finish third.  Given that prediction, wouldn't be a miracle if she won.

by Kingstongirl 2007-12-29 06:20PM | 0 recs
Primary spending limits
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.

The point that kos and others were making had nothing to do with general election spending, which starts after the conventions, but with the six months between February and convention day --- six months in which Edwards will run out of funds and rely on either the DNC or 527s to bail him out.
by psericks 2007-12-29 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Primary spending limits

I know what you meant to say is that John wins the nomination you feel relieved and supportive enough to ensure his victory.

If you meant anything else, we should know.

Personally I think Edwards people will play a good game out there, and his numbers are good and on the ground feelings for John will win him many many second choices, volunteers will pull many delegates out of tight situations. But it's preparing the ground to attack JRE, to say he will win now.

John's in this and support is very very strong. "It turns out its Edwards." My hope is in voters; in Iowa now, in America soon.

by inexile 2007-12-29 06:45PM | 0 recs
Paid staff numbers?

I was actually curious about the paid staffer numbers?  I thought both the Clinton and Obama campaigns were being tight-lipped about the number of staffers they had on the ground?  Are these estimates?

by psericks 2007-12-29 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Paid staff numbers?

The problem with their comments however is that it doesn't reflect recent electoral reality. Mos tof our candidates have rarely had a lot of money, and the thing that killed Kerry, for example the last time wasn't his lack of money. It was the spread of a lie through the free press by the swiftboaters and Kerry's media black out in not responding to it at all even in the free press.  The problem with Kos's point in other words for all his claim of sophistication is that is that it seems simple minded when one looks at whats actually happened.

by bruh21 2007-12-29 11:28AM | 0 recs

Joe Trippi estimates, designed to spin possible Iowa results for a greater sling shot effect into New Hampshire.  I give them credit for trying (and the numbers are probably reasonable, albeit inflated).  Of course, it leaves out that Edwards has been in the State since 2003, the impact of 527 money and that the demographics of Iowa favor ("Mr. 527") Edwards and (Ms. Massive Institutional Advantages) Clinton.  If some of these dead heat polls actually come to pass, Iowa will be seen as a draw and inconclusive- and the contest moves on.

One of the benefits of winning the media primary in 2007 is that the spin out of Iowa will be predisposed to go the way of the winner of this media primary.  

by mboehm 2007-12-29 02:43PM | 0 recs
This again proves nobody has any excuses in Iowa.

There are NO excuses to come in second (or, God forbid, third) in Iowa, least of all for the two candidates with the most money and staff. If they still can't convince Middle America despite their huge advantages, then Edwards is simply a better candidate and a better choice as the Democratic presidential nominee.

by MeanBoneII 2007-12-29 11:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

Thanks Jerome.  I'm glad to see you posting these kinds of diaries again.  

by benny06 2007-12-29 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

On another note, maybe ARG polls shouldn't be dismissed so quickly. Politicalwire is reporting that ARG's turnout model predicts 134k for dems and 111k for GOP. Those are very reasonable turnout estimates.  

by StrongDem08 2007-12-29 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

ARG has had the tightest (or among the tightest) likely voter screens all year.

They only count responsdents who say they are DEFINITELY going to caucus.

by hwc 2007-12-29 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

That seems reanable to me.  2004 was a big turnout year with lots of spending by all campaigns. Seems to me that given the nature and timing of the caucuses, there really is an upper limit on turnout.  ARG's turnout numbers increase turnout by 10%, which is very reasonable and would be a relatively large increase. Predicitng a double fold increase is unreasaonable.  

by StrongDem08 2007-12-29 11:42AM | 0 recs
Edwards has the momentum

Slightly more mo than Clinton, it seems, and Obama is at best stagnating.

And JRE's calling Obama's bluff on banning lobbyists (see below) from the White House won't hurt. Amazingly, though, there's still a ways to go. I'm serious--time for another shift of MO. The race will be decided by what happens between now and Thursday evening.

And if JRE wins Iowa, then people around the country will not only tune in to see a damn good speaker give a damn good speech, they'll look at poll number showing Edwards trouncing Romney (or Huckabee-that'll help in NH and beyond. 207/ ml

by david mizner 2007-12-29 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

Ugh, another Obama memo is out deriding union and 527 spending in Iowa for Edwards and HRC. Doesn't Plouffe and the Obama campaign understand that the eventual Dem nominee will need and value union support in the general.   Obama's holier than thou whining continues to disappoint.

by StrongDem08 2007-12-29 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

I feel like obama thinks unions are irrelevant instead of more important than ever in the globalized economy. That's why he's not afraid to throw them under the bus and also why I can't support him in the primary.

by adamterando 2007-12-29 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

I just made this point. Two great minds eh, Jerome.  I think Obama has not suffieciently become the anti-Hillary, and Edwards has shown that where he competes he can either win or finish strong.  I think he will be competitve through super Tuesday, depsite not having as much money as Obama.

by masslib1 2007-12-29 11:40AM | 0 recs
Excellent post, Jerome

Edwards has been running a superb campaign in Iowa, so far. His previous run in Iowa must really give him an advantage in knowing exactly how much money needs to be spent, how to spend it and when to spend it. I understand that he is just really beginning to focus on tv ads, which strikes me as another smart move: save the money to build the momentum at the end. Obama's campaign looks to be overspending. Probably a result of consultants taking advantage of a neophyte. It will also be interesting to see whether all of the money spent by the Clinton campaign will make up for her fewer appearances in Iowa and her unwillingness to take questions during her appearances.

by grayslady 2007-12-29 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

Jerome, I just noticed that this diary came straight from an Edwards campaign notice.  Not that I dispute the information or the value of having the information, but in the spirit of full disclosure would help that you would disclose when you cut and paste. /2007/12/29/from_edwards_campaign_some_e xp_1.html

by StrongDem08 2007-12-29 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

The graphics are from a Edwards release, but so what and why does that matter or need disclosure? Your accusations are complete bs, there was nothing cut and pasted in the text.

I don't think it matters where the graphics come from, they are either true or not. Are you implying that everytime I put up a graphic that I should disclose where it comes from?

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-12-29 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

When the information is virtually cut and pasted from a campaign release, as is the case here, it would be helpful to know.  For example, I think if you posted numbers comparing each campaign's health care plan and how many people would be covered, it would be wise to disclose if you got the information from the Clinton campaign.  

As I said, I am not trying to bash you, but it sources do matter. We can agree on that.

by StrongDem08 2007-12-29 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

i agree

by bluedavid 2007-12-29 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

Hah! Of course you should.

It takes 2 seconds to say "source: John Edwards campaign" or add a disclaimer "Here is some interesting data from the JRE campaign".

It's not your work. By not passing along the proper attribution you substitute your credibility for the credibility of the real source of this data. That misleads the reader in many ways that should be obvious.

by joejoejoe 2007-12-29 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

Whatever, you provided it.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-12-29 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

JRE had a FOUR YEARS head start on Obama, who built it from the ground up in 10 months. The Clinton name has been known for 15 years. Put it all in that perspective.

by rikyrah 2007-12-29 12:06PM | 0 recs

The big picture is that whoever finishes 3rd in Iowa is in deep shit no matter how it is spun.  Any one of the 3 candidates can say they started behind the eight ball.  Edwards was ignored by the MSM, Clinton was "piled on", Obama only had a short time to build an organization.  It just doesn't matter.  3rd place will be 3rd place and the top two in Iowa will be what the media concentrates on in terms of their "horse race" coverage going forward.

by minvis 2007-12-29 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

Jerome Armstrong says: "if Edwards can win Iowa while getting outspent 4:1, money is not an issue".

No way, it's if he wins the primary.  Winning Iowa, that's great for Edwards, but he's got no pathway to the nomination.  If, against all odds, he manages to parlay an Iowa win into a winning campaign for the nomination, then, yeah, you're right, matching funds or not, he'll likely whip the Republican.

Otherwise, an Iowa win does nothing but divide the anti-Clinton action.

And there it is.

by island empire 2007-12-29 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

If Edwards wins Iowa, he's got a good shot at winning or placing a strong second in NH, NV, and SC. The third place candidate in Iowa will be hard-pressed to do well in any of those early contests, which will make it that much harder to do well on February 5th.

In other words, if Edwards wins Iowa, he won't just be "splitting the anti-Clinton vote", whatever that means.

by clarkent 2007-12-29 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

If Edwards wins Iowa, he's going to win Nevada.

by desmoulins 2007-12-29 01:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

I think if his Iowa win pushes Culinary into endorsing him, you're absolutely right. Other than that, there are no guarantees.

by clarkent 2007-12-29 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

That sounds right to me.

by desmoulins 2007-12-29 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

Hmm.. Zogby and Politicalwire are saying the Zogby poll, which is released tomorrow morning, has "interesting results".  I have no clue what that means, but if I were to guess, I say Edwards rising (perhaps in the lead) and Obama fading fast. Anyone with inside info?

by StrongDem08 2007-12-29 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

Regarding the apparent difference in Iowa staff between Clinton and Obama: Keep in mind that the Obama campaign is surely bringing in lots of people, both paid and unpaid, from neighboring Illinois. So the practical difference may be negligible.

by Callimaco 2007-12-29 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa graphs

I bet Oaf, er, I mean, Oprah coming out for Obama is what will sink him.  

If he loses, it was because they made a BIG mistake (in more ways than one) in having Oprah "weigh" in.

by jgarcia 2007-12-29 08:19PM | 0 recs
Never leave a birdie putt short
For Obama and Edwards losing Iowa ends the campaign. Without a victory here their is absolutely no way to make up the twenty point deficit in national polls. So they better spend it all now.
by drtalc 2007-12-30 08:41AM | 0 recs
Never leave a birdie putt short
For Obama and Edwards losing Iowa ends the campaign. Without a victory here their is absolutely no way to make up the twenty point deficit in national polls. So they better spend it all now.
by drtalc 2007-12-30 08:49AM | 0 recs


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