Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll - the vision, the organizing, the experience

For weeks, nay months, leading up to this past weekend's Democratic Party of Wisconsin convention, I had been excited.  Not just because the annual convention is a fast-paced, interesting reunion of people I know from past campaigns and current projects and a chance to meet allies for now and the future, but also because I was really excited to have on consolidated weekend to bring to the state's most active Democrats the gospel of John Edwards and to see how well he would poll amongst the likeliest primary voters and most committed activists.  The anticipation was not ill-founded, and my excitement to see John Edwards do well in my own state was even underestimated.  And I think that what went down this weekend has some lessons for how the race for 2008 might shape up.

I spent the spring, along with a couple of other people that form the core of the leadership of the Edwards campaign in Wisconsin, traveling around the state to visit the Congressional District Party conventions.  You read that right, in addition to county parties, we also have CD-level parties that serve to organize the county parties.  The conventions are sort of mini-state conventions.  My favorite was by far the 7th CD convention in Northern Wisconsin, where Dave Obey schooled everyone on how we'll end the war, even with the limitations in Congress, and where the Chairman laid out just why he had endorsed John Edwards for president the day after Kerry/Edwards lost in 2004.  The people up north are old-fashioned Democrats.  That is to say that they are the continuation of a tradition of the Democratic Party and liberals in general that put right up front that it was the party that fought for, with backbone, freedom, opportunity, democracy, and justice for everyone.  

The 7th was probably the best example of why John Edwards is an exciting candidate.  Being the only candidate campaign that showed up to a one of the CD conventions, and also showing up at all of them, we were primed to field a lot of supporters.  Even at a time when many Democrats and activists had yet to make a decision on who to support for 2008, we were often overwhelmed with the intensely positive and passionate people who came up to our table and spoke with us about why they were supporting John Edwards.  From the union members that work at the paper plants to the small business owners in the small towns to the farmers that have been at the core of Wisconsin's identity forever, we saw how John Edwards is not only a harkening back to the Jefferson-Jackson building blocks of the Democratic Party and its values and constituencies, but also a forward-looking vision that can bring together the often disparate elements that should see the Democratic Party as their natural home - needing a figure with a vision that brings it all together.  

Attending these CD conventions, besides clarifying why exactly we were driving to exotic locales like Marshfield, Princeton, and Beloit for early Saturday mornings, lugging around clipboards, stickers, buttons, and literature, helped us to organize people around the state.  This campaign is being run from the grassroots on up, where local people are taking the lead to put together house parties, talk to their friends and neighbors, and build the support within the party and beyond it.  This proved to be a huge advantage for us heading into the state party convention, having a supply of volunteers that put in some time at our table, stickering, clipboarding, and generally providing a presence that put the other campaigns to shame.  

While the Obama folks had a table with some young volunteers, and they did a nice job stickering outside the Saturday morning breakfast Herb Kohl puts on every year and the Hillary table's confident professionalism belied a very disciplined campaign, the energy and buzz for John Edwards over the course of the weekend stood out.  One comment I heard from a supporter was that seeing the people gathered around the Edwards table was downright exciting.  Another said that the buzz in the convention hall around the presidential campaigns was about two things.  One was the endorsement of Lt. Governor (and good progressive) Barbara Lawton for Hillary Clintion (note: Clark supporters should give up on him running now; Barb wouldn't make a move if she thought there were any chance Wes Clark were getting into the race - it's somewhat common knowledge amongst party activists and leaders that Barb is a Clark diehard).  The other was the presence of John Edwards at the convention.  Not just that we had a crack operation working the clipboards, stickering, and table, but also and more importantly that John Edwards had a significant degree of support from party leaders and the rank-and-file.  

In fact, earlier in the summer, the Edwards campaign's list of endorsements from state legislators included far more state reps and senators than any other campaign, and included a wide geographic distribution of legislators and a roster that included the chair of the powerful Joint Finance Committee (Russ Decker), the leader on healthcare (Jon Erpenbach) and more females than Hillary Clinton could muster (Amy Sue Vruwink, Donna Seidel, State Treasurer Dawn Marie Sass, Sondy Pope-Roberts, among others).  And state party leaders that are supporters (the DPW does not allow explicit endorsements from party elected officials, which means that for someone like me, the Vice Chair of the 2nd CD Party, I don't officially endorse John Edwards as the VC of the 2nd CD, but instead as a private citizen) include a chair, a 2nd vice chair, CD and county party chairs and vice chairs, and members of the state party administrative committe.  

As the convention got going, I ran into labor leaders, party activists of note, and lots of rank-and-filers that wanted to talk about John Edwards.  Few had questions - although our volunteer team did a fantastic job of talking with folks about policy issues and political questions.  Most wanted to talk about, no, more like gush about why they were passionate about John Edwards the candidate.  The consistent theme was that he represented for them what is great about our party.  As Senator Edwards says, we don't need to redefine the Democratic Party, we need to reclaim it.  These folks got that more than anyone.  And goodness gracious did people want Edwards gear.

We went in with 1000 "Wisconsin for Edwards" buttons, 1000 "Labor for Edwards" buttons, the campaign bumper-stickers, and signs.  We distributed probably half of them to a combination of people who wanted them for themselves and their friends and to county party chairs who were enthusiastic to get them to bring back for their members saying things like "people have been begging me for Edwards stickers for months now".  When one walked into the convention hall on Friday evening, you couldn't get a seat without finding yourself a couple of people away from someone clutching their "John Edwards 2008" sign.  When I was working the AFL-CIO breakfast on Saturday morning (admittedly, a little groggily after a late night in the bar and up early for the 7 AM event), I literally couldn't hand out the "Labor for Edwards" gear fast enough.  They love this guy.  One USW member from the northeastern part of the state talked my ear off about how John Edwards is "one of us" and "gets us" and how he is the labor candidate for 2008 because he doesn't just want "our votes and boots [on the ground]".  He walked away with a bag full of about 50 buttons and got signs and stickers for his brothers and sisters in the local.  

The big thing at the DPW convention is the annual straw poll by WisPolitics.com.  They do different straw polls every year that end up with a sample that generally runs to be about 60% to 75% of convention delegates.  Last year, they polled on the contested attorney general's primary (incumbent Peg Lautenschlager versus Kathleen Falk) and this year, they included a question on the race for 2010 (Peg won again) as well as governor (should Jim Doyle not run again...although he hinted on Friday night that he would).  But the top of the ticket was the presidential.  In the end, John Edwards won by a 2-1 margin over the other top-tier candidates, taking almost 50% of the vote overall.  Why does this matter?

First, it shows that good organizing has an impact.  We worked the state for a month or two beforehand, put together a campaign operation around the convention, and even organized delegates at the convention to vote in the straw poll (our own little GOTV operation).  Hillary robo-called on Thursday evening and that's about it.  Obama hasn't even been a factor in this state yet, besides getting two token endorsements in the Milwaukee-area (Gwen Moore, and Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, who some cynics say endorsed Obama to shore up his support in the black community for his mayoral race upcoming).  Our team knew what we were doing and carried out a strong plan.  Organizing matters.  So does savvy.  And partially because of that we won.  In 2008, the primary, from Iowa to Nevada and beyond, will be won by people who know how to organize a campaign.  If this is any indication, Edwards' superior organization in those two earliest states will be very impactful.

Second, it shows that when it comes down to it, informed, engaged, activist Democrats like John Edwards.  A lot.  In a state like Wisconsin, where (bear in mind, I'm a lifer in Wisconsin, besides a short stint in Ohio for school and Chicago for work, so my opinion might be a bit skewed) Democrats are true-blue Democrats, with a good mix of post-New Deal types and (lower-case "n") new Democrats brought on-board via the Dean campaign and the spirit behind it (Democratic wing of the Democratic Party), labor types and other Democratic coalition groups (womens, environmental, civil liberties, etc).  True, it skews towards the middle-aged (though less so at the convention), but includes all classes from the low-income to the upper-class.  We are a great sample of what the Democratic Party is nationwide (albeit with fewer minority members and voters...this is white-bread Wisconsin).  Winning a straw poll in a state whose demographics most closely match the national average is symbolic.  But these people and their votes aren't just significant and symbolic solely because of demographics.  This is important because these folks that make up the party are the best expression of the party's core values.  And there, they match up with John Edwards and his vision for One America.  

Third, this straw poll matters because it is the first straw poll of which I am aware that takes a look at a whole state party's preference.  The likeliest Democratic primary voters in Wisconsin back John Edwards by a 2-1 margin.  If there is an inevitabilty margin for Hillary, or there ever was, it has been and is being erased the more people get to know their candidates.  If Obama is a sensation, it's not being felt by those most closely attuned to the campaign.  

Had I had my way, John Edwards would have been here, in Wisconsin yet again (he's done a number of events in Wisconsin since his surprisingly strong finish in the 2004 primary, including through his Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity and through political activity like events with Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, the state Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee and others).  But being the end of the fundraising quarter, it was understandable that none of the candidates showed.  But that vaccum allowed us to see a good picture of where the state's Democrats are at, without anything artificial swaying the vote.  

I'm really proud that John Edwards won the straw poll at our state party convention - and that helped make this a great weekend for Wisconsin Democrats, me included.  As this campaign moves forward, we'll get to see more of the impact of John's vision for One America on the voters and the impact of good campaign organizing giving the most progressive candidate for president the leg up he needs to win in swing states like Wisconsin and Iowa and unlikely battlegrounds like Missouri, North Carolina, and Nevada.

Tags: Democratic Party, John Edwards, Wisconsin (all tags)




for the report. I'm in the Obama camp but it's detailed reports of grassroots activism that should be on the rec list. Not easy made polling or money numbers.

Good report.

by Populista 2007-07-03 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks

agreed. Quality diaries are all too rare. This one actually adds to our understanding and is interesting.

by demondeac 2007-07-04 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks

Thanks much!  Just trying to do a little citizen journalism.

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 05:39PM | 0 recs
Thanks for your hard work

We Edwards supporters could use your help in eastern Iowa. There are a lot of vote-rich Democratic areas not far from Wisconsin.

The Obama army will be bringing in plenty of volunteers from Illinois...

by desmoinesdem 2007-07-03 08:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for your hard work

We'll be there on July 28th!

by Peter from WI 2007-07-03 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for your hard work

Bring Them On! Wisconsin sounds very organized. Props. Maybe you chaps are Edwards secret weapon eh?  That is the best written diary i've seen on Kos or MyDD in months.

Truly excellent writing. Don't let us down out there in the midwest. We have a lot riding on this.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-07-03 09:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for your hard work

May I suggest you do some liason work with Iowans before that date. Every single last vote counts.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-07-03 09:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for your hard work

I'm in good contact with the Iowa campaign staff.  Our secret weapon here (although now not so secret): we have a number of transplanted Iowans in our ranks.

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for your hard work

Great citizen jounalist report.  It's always good to get these reports from the ground.

Is Wisconsin a 2/5 state?

by MassEyesandEars 2007-07-04 04:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for your hard work

I think it's on the 19th. These Rassmusen #'s are relevant, head to head vs. Guiliani in Wisconsin:

Edwards 49%, Guiliani 39%
Obama 43%, Guiliani 45%
Clinton 44%, Guiliani 45%

Great diary, Peter--thanks.

by david mizner 2007-07-04 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for your hard work

It is on the 19th.  The interesting thing is that after 2/5, we're the only game in town.  John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama (my guess is that after 2/5 the rest will drop out) are going to be living in Wisconsin.  Since nobody can emerge from 2/5 a consensus winner, Wisconsin will be the state that defines who has the buzz and backing going forward from the national primary day.

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for your hard work

And for all the head-to-heads I've seen for GOPers vs. Democrats in Wisconsin, Edwards beats all comers, just like in the rest of the numbers from around the country (with apologies to Alabama).

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 09:03AM | 0 recs

This was a good diary.  Edwards must have something special to get such enthused and dedicated supporters behind him.  You represent him well.

by reasonwarrior 2007-07-03 09:43PM | 0 recs

Thank you.  I know that John has more than a little something special going on.  The best part about the week I took off around Christmas 2006 was not any cool gifts or time off of work, but that John Edwards declared for president.  I firmly believe that he is the best thing that could happen to this country, our party, and our progressive movement.

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

This was a straw poll..Any wisconsin polls out yet?

by JaeHood 2007-07-04 12:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

I don't think that most straw polls (by which I mean that isolated straw polls in small counties attended by very few activists) mean that much, but a state party convention straw poll going that heavily for a candidate says something. It's a statement that party activists are really excited for Edwards and ready to work to get him elected.

by clarkent 2007-07-04 01:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

That doesn't mean anything..I've seen plenty of time where the state politicians heavily supported a candidate while their constituencies supported someone else.

For example, we know that the majority of the NY delegation have endorsed Hillary,but some of the black lawmakers in AA communities are saying they are receiving hundreds of call per week from African Americans demanding their representatives to support Obama instead of Hillary.....Harlem is basically Obama's nation

I'll like to see some WI polls first before i believe WI is in the bag for Edwards.

by JaeHood 2007-07-04 02:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

I don't claim that WI is in the bag for Edwards (in fact, polls show a definite challenge for him there), but party activists (not just state legislators) giving you an overwhelming win in a state convention straw poll is a major boost for a campaign. These are the people who deliver for a candidate, block by block across the state. They are why Kerry won in Iowa in 2004.

by clarkent 2007-07-04 02:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

well, if their support was that impornatnt, then Hillary would easily coast to a victory since she has by far the most endorsement nationwide.

I believe that by caucus night, she will have the entire democratic establishment backing her.

lawmakers endorsements means little..As long as you have your grassroots working on the ground and making things happens,you'll be okay...

I'm sure grassroots will put as much work as those lawmakers that endorsed Edwards in WI...You could even make a case that they would outpeform those elites lawmakers because those folks will not go knock on doors everyday and pass flyers and do the hard works needed to win.

Obama has strong grassroots supports that will do just that..His grassroots seems to be the most energized.

by JaeHood 2007-07-04 04:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

Did you read the post? These people who gave Edwards a WI Straw Poll win were not just a bunch of lawmakers. They were the grassroots.

by clarkent 2007-07-04 05:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

I think you should start reading previous posts before repeating false claims.

A state party convention is NOT just a bunch of politicians.  It's just normal people who are party activists.  You can bet that 100% of the people at the convention will vote every single election day.  You can bet they are resources for their friends, family and community.  They are organizers.  They are more valuable than paid campaign staff because they have a moral motive rather than a profit motive.

by Vox Populi 2007-07-04 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

And in fact, while a lot of elected officials attend the convention, if one were to break down the percentages, my gut feel is that a higher percentage of the active Democrats attend each year than the percentage of elected Democrats.  Not by much, but the important point is that the convention is a gathering of the activists, leaders, and electeds.  And yes, the electeds have to rub elbows with us scruffy, unruly, unwashed masses of Democratic activists at the convention.  

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

Exactly! I couldn't have said it better myself!

by Sarah Lane 2007-07-04 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

Read the post, you sound very uninformed as to the events that happened in the state. Nobody here gives a crap about reading spin.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-07-04 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

His "energized" grassroots support at the convention consisted of about 5 volunteers throughout the entire convention, and I have yet to see anything resembling a campaign organization here in the Madison-area.  

And yes, endorsements are important too.  If you read the diary, you'll notice my one quotation from a person who said that because Dave Obey thinks JRE is good stuff, they'll get behind him too (not solely because of the Chairman, but that sealed the deal).  

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

Edwards has been very successful at getting state legislators and local activists behind him as well. From OK to GA to IA, he's gaining broad support at the grassroots level.

by Sarah Lane 2007-07-04 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

Do polls measure campaign organization?  Do polls measure the depth of support?  Do they measure how much people are paying attention right now?  

I'm pretty sure I didn't say that Wisconsin is in the bag for Edwards.  But we'll fight like hell to put it solidly in the Edwards column from February 19th.  

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

Great report! This shows how much can be accomplished when people are engaged, and presented factual information. It takes a lot of work to reach people in this way, but wow does it get results! This Wisconsin effort is a good model for the rest of us! It is good to read about people getting excited about John Edwards!

by bettync 2007-07-04 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll -

Slow and steady, methodical and systematic, well-organized can win the race.

So can just having a damn fine vision that makes it easy, passionate and dedicated volunteers, and some creativity and ingenuity of running a campaign getting put to work.

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin

Simply awesome diary Peter. I am proud to be on board the Edwards campaign with you and everyone up there in WI working hard to change the world.

Ignore the naysayers who try and spin everything against Edwards. With the work you are doing, I bet he wins WI!!

by RDemocrat 2007-07-04 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin
Labor people know that the media rarely focuses on labor issues - wages, right to organize, etc. In fact the "right to organize" bill that just failed in the Senate wasn't even covered by the media.
Since the anti-union media, which sponsors anti-union corporations, ignores Labor, it's likely Labor expects the media to ignore a Labor candidate. Edwards has the best plans and policies for Labor - and they know it!
Obama and Hillary supporters are fighting for their candidates (who've produced very few detailed policies) by mocking Edwards the progressive candidate with the most detailed policies and solutions.
by annefrank 2007-07-04 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin

One thing I didn't include in the actual diary (and probably should have) was a conversation I was having with two union-members.  One, who was less-informed on JRE, asked me if we had any literature on labor issues.  I started to say "no" (there is not a specific policy paper or fact-sheet on strictly labor issues...) when the other union fella cut me off breathlessly saying something to the effect of "he doesn't need a labor plan, he is a labor plan!  Everything he's talking about includes our issues."  

So I grabbed the poverty fact sheets, both domestic and global...minimum wage, right to organize, enforcement of labor law, equalization of capital and labor in legal standing.  Healthcare plan...universal.  Rural America...labor's role is critical.  The list went on.  

Union member #1 walked away with his buddy sold on JRE.

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 08:41AM | 0 recs
Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll

I think it's especially impressive because Wisconsin borders Illinois.  I guess the buzz doesn't transcend the state line.

by Vox Populi 2007-07-04 08:07AM | 0 recs
Few things here

First, I think it bodes well for Edwards that he has a nice amount of support in Iowa's neighboring state, and not only does this diary point out a few realities, but it's been (I believe) a trend throughout much of the state-by-state polls we've seen: Edwards is the Democrat who does best with rural voters. His support here (though its not a complete statewide poll or anything), does sort of reflect his current lead in Iowa, as well as a hotbed of potential support in neighboring Minnesota and Missouri, which is good not only for the frontloaded primaries but for the general election (Missouri is a state that rural voters will lead to a victory).

Though I may be biased as an Edwards supporter, I do think that his rural support is why he will be the strongest contender in 2008. While right now, many suburban-working class women and men, young gen Yers, African Americans and Latinos may occasionally 'flirt' with the possibility of voting for, say, Guiliani, in head-to-head matchup polls when their current candidate of choice is presented (Obama or Hillary), that nearly all of them will come home and support a John Edwards candidacy (who the media has portrayed negatively or not at all).

One thing, however, I think John Edwards must work on (and he did help himself in the last debate) is appealing to the African American and Latino community, which will be a crucial vote to lock up in the general election (and indeed, the primaries- see Nevada and South Carolina).

by KainIIIC 2007-07-04 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Few things here

>>>>One thing, however, I think John Edwards must work on (and he did help himself in the last debate) is appealing to the African American

Yes - the PBS poll of the audience conducted pre-debate and post-debate showed the audience was most influenced by Edwards.  Obama and Hillary numbers went down - while Edwards doubled in post-debate polling.
Therefore - with Obama and Hillary "losing" - the poll posted on PBS site was only up for a few hours - before it was removed.
And Tavis Smiley on MTPress discussing the debate - didn't even mention Edwards.

by annefrank 2007-07-04 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Few things here

I think that this is less a matter of where John is at then with how he gets African Americans to consider his candidacy.  John's plans, ideas, and most importantly, his vision for this country really seem to align with what I would consider to be most important to a majority of African Americans (and it's foolhardy to think that black America is monolithic and has unified issues and concerns - though this bloc is certainly more unified than "white America" as a voting group and constituency).  

It's not just that John Edwards is serious about addressing poverty and inequality and there are disproportionately high numbers of black Americans getting screwed by the economic royalism and social Darwinism of the current establishment - it's that John Edwards is talking about the latter clause and understands that the latter leads to the former, the need to address poverty, inequality, lack of opportunity, the moral failings of this country.  

While I think that that will resonate with a lot of Americans, I think that black America is uniquely sensitive to these concerns because they have been so f'ed by the establishment for so long.  So the issue is in how JRE reaches to black America.  I don't have the answer, but I hope someone does.  As much as we can laugh about Mudcat and him being a rural political consultant, I think he brings a unique take on reaching out to rural voters - it has to come from someone who gets those folks.  So being a white guy from Wisconsin, I don't know the best way to reach out to black voters in general or black voters in a specific situation as well as what someone that is say, a black guy (from Wisconsin or elsewhere).  

John is well prepared to be able to connect with African Americans, he just needs to have a good strategy to put himself into a place in which to do so.

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Few things here

Rural Democrats have been, by my anecdotal numbers, the strongest supporters of John Edwards.  At the CD Conventions, the rural areas have gone strongest for JRE.  But it's not to say that the urban or suburban areas are less so for JRE or more for someone else.  The latter have a higher incidence of people not yet having their minds made up.  But the ones that do are burning for JRE.  

The thing I hear from rural folks and the labor folks as well is "he's one of us."  They're the ones seeing through the hype and BS about $400 haircuts (which has started to jump the shark, and even EE and JRE are joking about it...we made an effort to make sure that any conversation about haircuts turned into a laugh-fest and got brought back to policy) and mansions and advising a hedgefund.  None of these things takes away from John's orientation to deal with the fundamental and structural problems that create and exacerbate economic injustice, inequality, and unfairness.  None of these things make John any less a product of a working-class household.  None of these things makes John any less of an inspiring figure for people who are looking for a leader that not only understands the concerns of the "average" Americans out there in the "heartland" but will fight like hell for them.

Tell me the last time we had a candidate that we saw running a campaign based upon calling out BS and fighting for the majority of Americans against entrenched power and interest?  These folks are responding to that.

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Few things here

So am I Peter, so am I!!

by RDemocrat 2007-07-04 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Few things here

I'm surprised that no other candidates are focusing on rural issues. Edwards wants to enact plans to revitalize small rural towns that need our help economically. It's a great demographic to pick up independent voters and moderate republicans as well. It's a voting block that has been ignored for too long by the Democratic party.

by Sarah Lane 2007-07-04 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Few things here

Not only ignored by the Democrats, but screwed over by Republicans!  Democrats have a chance in 2008 to pick up electoral victories there, and also remake the image of the Democratic Party there to once again show that our party is that of the common person, the one standing up and fighting for the interests of people who work for a living and want our country's policies to reflect the needs of those folks.

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Few things here

You are so very right. Kudos to Edwards for trying to seize upon the opening to put Democrats back on the map in these areas!! We have been conceding them for far too long. The rural voter is not the raging right wingers they are made out to be. They are like everyone else, they just want their slice of the American dream and want their problems addressed. Edwards is damn smart reaching out to them again. Our whole party should be doing this.

by RDemocrat 2007-07-04 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards & Iowa

Would you describe the Iowa caucuses as a must-win for Edwards, Peter?  It seems to me that he's going to have to win at least one of the first four to survive until Wisconsin, and Iowa seems to be Edwards' strongest state right now.  

BTW, I am planning to vote for Edwards, who also won a straw poll in northeast GA last month.  I believe the results were:

Edwards     35%
Obama       21%
Clinton     20%
Richardson   7%
Kucinich     5%
Other       13%

by CLLGADEM 2007-07-04 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards & Iowa

I don't know about "must-win" but certainly it would be very advantageous for the Edwards campaign to win an early state to a) establish further legitimacy with the establishment media and b) to break down the myth that there is an inevitability candidate and a rockstar candidat and nobody else.  Iowa is probably the best place to do that, with Nevada a close second.

Remember, winning Iowa or Nevada or South Carolina or New Hampshire is important for one reason, and one reason only: buzz.  They aren't delegate-rich states, but they are the media narrative for those states that come afterward.  If Edwards takes second in all four early states and the wins are split between Obama and Hillary, Super Duper Tuesday is still a crap-shoot and it's as much of a three-way race as ever before.  I think we'll be at the end of February before we know who the nominee is.

by Peter from WI 2007-07-04 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards & Iowa

He beat Rudy in head to head, and led my state of Kentucky in fundraising last quarter!!

by RDemocrat 2007-07-04 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards & Iowa

He led my state of Oregon too!

by Sarah Lane 2007-07-04 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards & Iowa

Oregon rocks!!! I hope to visit their one day. You guys are consistently blue!!

by RDemocrat 2007-07-04 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards & Iowa

You should visit Oregon, I live in Portland (my favorite place of all time) but the coastal cities are amazing, the willamette valley (where all the wineries are) is beautiful and Ashland OR is cool too. My advice would be to come to Portland, head over to the coast and go up to the Washington Peninsula...it's so freaking beautiful up there!

by Sarah Lane 2007-07-05 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards & Iowa

My friend Eric Streit who lost in the primary here last fall works out there a lot. He does the "Little People Big World" if you have seen it. I hope to get out there one day. Its quite a haul from Paducah KY.

by RDemocrat 2007-07-05 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll - the vision

The problem is, The media is up the Clintons butts.

Every good thing Edwards says and dose is ignored by  the media.

But when Hillary Clinton, avoids a question and lies to america, for some reason she is comended for it, the media said when she avoided the libby question that she was showing true leadership skills.

which in no way is leadership. All she is showing me is she is just like our current President, is that what we really want?

by Mbon007 2007-07-04 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll - the vision

I must add if clinton won these straw polls it would be blasted all across the news.

by Mbon007 2007-07-04 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll - the vision

I agree.  The MSM thinks it can starve the Edwards campaign by ignoring it, except to say that's he running third in national polls and fundraising.  Forget his platform, and never mind that at this stage in 2003, JRE was nowhere near double digits in national polls.  Yuck!

by CLLGADEM 2007-07-04 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards Wins Wisconsin Straw Poll - the vision

The media downplaying Edwards so much will probably come back to punch them in the face.

They are making it seem like he is out, then when he wins Iowa it will be a shock due to there constant drive to put JRE down, this will then more then likly give JRE more momentum then if if he won while being praised by the media.

so it might help him, but it just makes me sick that the media covers Clintons "pick my song" over Obama and Edwards real plans for the country!

by Mbon007 2007-07-04 11:17AM | 0 recs


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