Edwards and the electability question
by Jerome Armstrong, Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 07:14:39 AM EDT
Lynn Sweet mentions something that's been going around:
Last week, in an Edwards polling memo, the public polls from SUSA and from Rasmussen Reports were quoted to make the case that Edwards can compete in more states than either Obama or Clinton, and that nationally, Edwards is even or does better than the others. The electability argument is probably not going to carry as much weight among Democrats in '08 as it did in '04, because Democrats are just coming off a big mid-term victory. There's been a bit of a call to dismiss the electability argument, but I think it probably still holds quite a bit of sway for some voters that, all things being equal, want to nominate someone that can win.
Though it's not a clear-cut case though that Edwards does better nationally than Clinton or Obama, I do think the polls make enough of a case that it's a good strategic move, if only to put the others on the defensive. In fact, it's really interesting that Edwards, while he has become the most vocal about getting out of Iraq, dismantling the WOT frame, and voicing populist economics, is (in some polls) the strongest Democratic candidate for 2008.
Also, Edwards has again opened up the process as we move to the end of the 2Q, showing that he has surpassed his 1Q total of 40,000 contributors, now at 48,000 for Q2; though the $6.75M raised to date is about half of what Edwards raised in the 1Q, he's got more small donors and it looks like the average contribution size in 2Q for Edwards will be less than $150. No word yet on Obama, Clinton or Richardson's numbers.
Even more important than national polls, Edwards outperforms other Democratic candidates in key battleground states, including Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
Unlike other Democrats, who will be forced to run the table of states where Democrats have been competitive in recent elections, Edwards brings new states into play. This provides alternative scenarios and a margin for error when it comes to winning 270 electoral votes.