as well as candidates' favorable/unfavorable ratings. But they don't measure candidates relative strength because voters are not yet equally informed about the candidates. Nor do national polls predict actual votes. We live on Animal Farm: all votes are counted, but some count more than others. Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary results are a stronger predictor of later primary votes than polls taken before Iowa and New Hampshire. Only the Iowa polls are measuring something that won't be influenced by other states' results.
I'm less concerned that Iowa doesn't represent America -- although chiefscribe is right about this -- than with the fact that the caucus doesn't even represent Iowa. Iowa has been a swing state in the 1990s and 2000s, so someone who is a viable statewide candidate should be a viable national candidate. But the caucus measures intensity of support among a minority of hard core Democratic partisans, which has nothing to do with statewide or national viability. Yet because of Iowa's place in the primary calendar, the press and the candidates all interpret the caucus results as the first and therefore most important indicator of national electability. This is perverse; it's a recipe for ignoring moderates and independents and losing elections. Harkin did the Democrats a huge favor in 1992 by marginalizing the significance of the Iowa caucuses, and I'm sorry Vilsack has left the race and won't be able to play this role in 2008.
Do you have polls that show theocon candidates like Brownback or Huckabee are losing support, or not in a position to gain defectors from McCain and Romney? Otherwise, your title reference to theocons is confusing. McCain doesn't own them, no matter how much he sucks up, and Giuliani isn't the only alternative.
The genius of Murtha's plan is not its incrementalism, but the fact that it cuts the legs out from under the war=patriotism argument by forcing war proponents to argue why sending troops into combat without adequate equipment, training, and combat readiness is patriotic.
I agree. The House already has the votes to bring the troops home. Bush's last firewall is in the Senate. If Republican House members desert Bush in significant numbers, this is going to concentrate the minds of the Republican senators on the ballot in 2008 on whether they want to die politically for a lame duck with 30% approval.
Hillary is exactly the briar patch the Republicans want to be thrown into. Not only would she be a Republican fundraising bonanza, they'd love to make the next election about Whitewater and Bill and Hillary's marriage rather than Iraq and the class war against the working class.
I agree we need to pressure Democratic leaders, particularly Pelosi, Reid, H. Clinton, and Obama to take the lead on a preventative resolution against military action. Unless they do so, this will never get the media coverage to become an issue outside the blogs.
I wrote Obama and Durbin, my senators, to sponsor a preventive resolution. Durbin hid behind a statement that he would deny Bush an authorizing resolution. This is worthless; Bush won't wait for an authorizing resolution. I'm still wating to hear from Obama, but his Iraq withdrawal bill makes me hopeful.
... since they've both yoked themselves to Bush's war. The only difference is that McCain's position is much better known. I'd look for an antiwar dark horse like Brownback to emerge from the also-rans. He also has religious-right credentials that the frontrunners don't.
"Using military force should always be the last option, and I do not believe we have reached that point with regard to Iran. I support the Bush Administration's decision to abandon its hands-off approach to Iran and become more actively involved in efforts by European leaders to explore possible solutions to this difficult problem. In addition, U.S. decision makers must keep in mind that our Constitution requires Congressional approval of offensive military action. If the President reaches the conclusion that we should go to war with Iran or any other nation, he must seek and gain Congressional authorization before doing so."
A civilian nuclear energy program doesn't mean taking Iran's word for it. It means full transparency to IAEA inspectors and independent accounting for all nuclear materials. That's not a standard that Iran's program presently meets, but it's a realistic goal for the sort of diplomatic process that Edwards is proposing.
Any poll conducted at this point is measuring name recognition not future votes. Polls are simply not narrowly targeted enough to pull out only those who have made up their minds about an election a year away.
Evidence? A few days ago, Mystery Pollster analyzed a CBS poll from 1/18 - 1/21 that showed a 35 percent gap between HRC and Obama of those who had heard enough about the candidate to have an opinion. Here's the link: