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Posted at 10:22 AM ET, 09/24/2007

Is Edwards "the Most Electable"?

By washingtonpost.com Editors
[Photo]
(Evan Vucci - AP)

John Edwards statement to Good Morning America, September 3, 2007:

"And the same polls that you're talking about, if you look at the general election match-ups, show very clearly that I'm the strongest Democrat to beat the Republicans in the general election. "

The Facts

National head-to-head polls collected by Real Clear Politics do not support Edwards's claim. They vary week by week, alternately favoring one candidate, then another. The most recent poll averages suggest that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have as good a chance as Edwards in many head-to-head matchups. We include the decimal points in the following September 24 data from Real Clear Politics, even though pollsters caution that they imply a level of precision that no poll can possibly have. The following table shows the lead for Democratic candidates in each matchup. Hypothetical winners of each contest are marked in bold.

EdwardsObamaClinton
Giuliani+2+0.4+3.5
McCain+4+6.6+3.3
Romney+13.7+14+11.7
Thompson+12.3+9+9

Asked to provide factual support for Edwards's statement, Edwards campaign spokesman Eric Schultz pointed to polling by Rasmussen that showed Edwards outperforming Obama and Hillary Clinton in head-to-head matchups against the four leading Republican candidates. But other polls have shown Clinton or Edwards with a slight edge.

"The polls do seem to suggest a structural advantage for Democratic candidates against Republicans at this early stage," said Washington Post director of polling Jon Cohen. "But there are no consistent, reliable data showing Edwards with a better chance than other Democrats."

The Pinocchio Test

[Pinocchio][Pinocchio]

While the Edwards campaign can certainly produce polls showing that their candidate is ahead in head-to-head matchups with individual Republicans, so can Clinton and Obama. The polling data is all over the map at this point. We award Edwards two Pinocchios for wild exaggeration. (About our rating scale.)

By washingtonpost.com Editors  | September 24, 2007; 10:22 AM ET
Categories:  2 Pinocchios, Candidate Record, Candidate Watch  
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Comments

Please tell your "director of polling" that "Democrat" is not an adjective. Otherwise, he sounds like he's reading from Rush Limbaugh's script.

Posted by: Adam S. | September 24, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I think the fact checker should look up the word fact. I would welcome an independent fact checker, one that checks up on factual assertions such as whether one owns stock in a lumber company or not and does not merely pass along what some unamed senior white house official has asked be passed along. This column, unfortuately, spins. And, I agree with Adam, the word "Democrat" should not be misused like it was unless you are trying to be insulting rather than objective.

Posted by: Sara B. | September 24, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Sara B., where is the unnamed senior White House official in this article?

Posted by: Fred | September 24, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs,
Since you do not include the context of Mr. Edwards claim, we cannot identify what "polls that you're talking about". So, let's assume it was not Rasmussen, but an aggregate of all polls in existence.
1. If Edwards is not "the strongest Democrat to beat the Republicans in the general election", or as you put it "most electable", who is? If I add the margins in your RCP chart, Edwards has the highest combined margin. Did you not notice this? Does this not support his claim?

2. Who made RCP arbiter of questions of polling? I've found Pollster.com generally more reliable and informative. For example, in this chart
http://www.pollster.com/ATrialHeatsALL.png
one can see that adding the vote share of each Democratic candidate for an aggregate total gives Edwards the highest of the three frontrunners.

I'm not saying Edwards is "most electable", but if he wishes to make that claim, I don't see where you have met the burden necessary to say he is factually incorrect, let alone your ridiculous assertion his claim is "wild exaggeration".

I'm afraid this column is fast becoming a disappointment. I will give up on it soon.

Posted by: zukermand | September 24, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

this column is a waste fo ban width.

they used one poll, Real Clear Politics, a gop group,as the basis of their "facts'.

what a bunch of hooey


and learn to write....

Posted by: barb | September 24, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

So, Mr Giuliani has not corrected his claim from yesterday
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ie0AXT5wT2MAtnVwJEOoBbjCeEBA

"Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said Friday that the alternative minimum tax -- which is expected to generate as much as $1 trillion over the next 10 years -- could be eliminated by balancing it out with even more tax cuts."

A claim absurd on its face, yet meaningfully misleads voters into supporting a policy for which there is no rational basis. It really does seem like the kind of thing a "Fact Checker" ought to address, don't you think?

Posted by: zukermand | September 24, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

This is an absurd article. You can't just look at a nationwide poll on realclearpolitics.com a year and a half before the elections and conclude anything about who would most likely beat various Republican candidates. (Remember, even the night before 2004 presidential election, realclearpolitics was unsure about who would win.) I have no idea which Democrat would win most easily, and neither do you.

What will make a candidate "most likely to win" against Republicans will be their values and how they frame them. As the parties choose their candidates and the primaries begin, stories will emerge that will either resonate with the public or they won't. Also, the way that the media spins the stories that come up about the candidates, endorsements, etc all will affect what ends up happening. Also, remember all the complexities of the election process. Who wins in Iowa, for example, determines a lot about who is seen as a "winner" or "loser" and changes the dynamics of the election a lot. You can't capture any of that in a few nationwide polls about who people think they might vote for. You certainly can't call Edwards a "liar" based on those polls when he might just be using better reasoning than you.

Posted by: Claudia Gold | September 24, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

As Zukermand has ably debunked your "fact check," I think maybe it would be helpful in the future if some actual research went into these thngs. BTW, how long are you going to wait before admitting Romney has consistently lied about his record on abortion and give him the five Pinocchios?

Posted by: AJ | September 24, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

To top it all off, the appearance was three weeks ago. I just can't imagine the thought process that resulted in this suggestion being chosen from what I imagine is a fairly huge volume of tips received. Something is wrong with this picture.

Posted by: zukermand | September 24, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Mr Dobbs,
Although we apparently differ on the definition of facts, I do hope you receive my comments in the spirit intended. I believe a review of the basis, or lack thereof, for factual claims made by candidates would be a valuable resource and help elevate our political discourse. So, while I support your stated goal, I don't believe the column has delivered on its promise. Please reconsider your approach.

Posted by: zukermand | September 24, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

This one is definitely a disappointment. It's not checking facts, it's critiquing rhetoric. Why not fact-check the claims Edwards makes about his health care plan? That's something that might actually be useful to voters. Instead, you've engaged in a frivolous critique of non-issues. Who gives a crap about stuff like this? We've got an electorate that believes Saddam Hussein was behind 9-11, and they believe it because politicians said it. Why not go after real misstatements that are important? Instead, you're calling Edwards a liar because he said something you disagree with but can't factually disprove. Disappointing, indeed.

Posted by: Kate | September 24, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

John Edwards does better against the Republicans than Clinton and Obama do in Newsweek, Gallup, and Rasmussen surveys, EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Not only that, if you look at Survey USA matchups in battleground states, he does better than them as well.

It's not like RealClearPolitics looks at EVERY SINGLE POLL KNOWN TO MAN.

Anyone can take certain polls and average them up and get different numbers, but when you look at the polls that the MEDIA like to pull out of their behinds...the Newsweeks and the Gallups, the media is remarkably silent about John Edwards doing better against Republicans than Clinton and Obama do.

Gee, I wonder why they always ignore that and instead only focus on how much Clinton leads by AMONG DEMOCRATS ONLY.

Posted by: OEST | September 24, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

When was the last time a non-southern Democrat won the White House? 1960.

Posted by: Fairfax Dem | September 24, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for correcting the pro-life usage in the Romney article.

Posted by: zukermand | September 24, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

May I suggest you post a link to the transcript or video that is your source for the subject claim? It would be useful in evaluating your assessment. If GMA has it, I couldn't find it.

Posted by: zukermand | September 24, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Zuckermand: You sure do have a lot of time on your hands. Maybe you should run for President - or perhaps King of the universe....

Posted by: whew... | September 24, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

As a mostly undecided Democrat, I can say that Edwards totally lost me when he began his crap with picking "more than one" republican to his cabinet...
The LAST thing I want from the next Democratic candidate is some starry-eyed weakling who is nostalgic for the Eisenhower era.
Republicans have nothing to bring to the table...nothing to offer that would help in cleaning the Bush mess.
I want my nominee to understand that.

Posted by: Kase | September 24, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Realclearpolitics? The site that spews nothing but negativity about Edwards is their source. Gimme a break. They are so biased against Edwards that they didn't make public a Aug 2nd poll that had him leading Clinton in Iowa by 8 points intil Aug 16th when another poll came out to their liking. What a joke.

Posted by: Gharza | September 24, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Looks like all the Edwards employees are weighing in to complain....

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I am total agreement with fact checking politicians claims - but can we do it on issues that matter.

What a real disappointment - your fact checking is suspect and I fear will soon be gone from WashingtonPo soon if this and your fact checking on MoveOn's Betray us piece is any example.

Posted by: Diana | September 24, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

This piece is totally silly. Political journalism in this country is bad enough without fact check people doing horserace analysis based on a single poll.

This is just awful.

Posted by: Brad | September 24, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I just noticed your list of "Useful Sites" includes RCP. So, this reliance on them is not a one-off, but will be policy apparently. On entering their site, I saw the name Tom Bevan and it looked familiar. I once argued the details of the Harry Reid land deal issue, as reported by Mr Solomon, with Mr Bevan on a right wing web site. While he clearly had no expertise in real estate or finance, he nonetheless vigorously argued for Mr Reid's culpability. He is also the author of this piece:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-1_30_06_Bevan_pf.html
I have no doubt in my mind he is a political partisan and favors the GOP. That leaves the question, how did he become your source for what could ultimately become an important nonpartisan venture? It seems somewhat counterproductive.

Posted by: zukermand | September 24, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention, Mr Bevan is the co-founder and executive editor of Real Clear Politics.

Posted by: zukermand | September 24, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

A recent Zogby poll in Iowa supported Edward's claim.Zogby's poll showed Clinton ahead 30-23 in Iowa but then divided voters into three categories:the very liberal,the mainsteam liberal,and moderates.Hillary lead only among the mainstream liberals with Edwards leading the other two groups.This suggests that while Hillary can win Democrats,she's less likely to appeal to voters come 4 November 2008.

It's also fair to note that no Northern Democrat has been elected since the controversial 1960 election.The other Democratic Presidents since that time were ALL southerners.

I'm an Edwards supporter largely because of this fact,though I happen to believe he's right on the issues,too.


Posted by: Chris Bryant | September 24, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your comments. We have corrected an error in the quote from WP polling director Jon Cohen to reflect Post style rules. The Post uses "Democratic" rather than Democrat as an adjective.

On the choice of topics to fact check, this column has been going for less than a week, and it is difficult to tackle many otherwise interesting topics immediately. But stay tuned. Over the next fifteen months, we are planning to tackle a broad range of subjects and claims, from across the political sectrum.

Posted by: The Fact Checker | September 24, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

zukermand, the guy who runs pollster.com, by his own admission, worked for 20 years for Democratic candidates, so he has his own bias, just as you claim RCP does for the Republicans.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | September 24, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Both this site and RealClearPolitics should be shut down for abusing the internet by spewing hateful right-wing propaganda under the guise of unbiased analysis. Sites like this should not be allowed to operate. This is truly the most dangerous form of speech and clearly should not be protected by the 1st amendment.

Posted by: Steve | September 24, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

WashingtonDame,
I'm sorry. We differ in this respect. I have no idea who Tom Bevan has worked for or what he believes. I have witnessed him demonstrating political partisanship in his professional capacity, therefore, I believe him partisan. I am unaware of the proprietor of pollster.com demonstrating such. If you are able to cite a case, I can be persuaded. George Stephanopolous and Chris Matthews both worked for Democrats and I don't consider either political partisans. I must admit, I am hard pressed to name a Republican political operative who went on to become a nonpartisan journalist or commentator. Of course we each have our own standards. I just don't try to read people's minds, I prefer to judge them by their actions.

Posted by: zukermand | September 24, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

RCP is clearly biased towards the Republicans with respect to its editorial content and article links (and I would expect even they would admit that). However, I think most people also recognize that they have one of the best poll aggregators on the internet, and it is for that purpose that I find them a useful site, even though I disagree with their editorial views. They show you what polls are included in their aggregator and the date range they are using, so it's pretty easy to see what they're doing. I've not found anything fishy about the polling data aspect of their site.

Posted by: Aaron | September 24, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The Fact Checker writes:"...The Post uses "Democratic" rather than Democrat as an adjective."
I'm curious, which does Mr. Cohen use?

"...Over the next fifteen months, we are planning to tackle a broad range of subjects and claims, from across the political sectrum"
I honestly couldn't care less where they come from on the "spectrum", I'm just hoping for a narrowing of the mission to policing statements of fact intrinsic to policy proposals. I'd also be interested in identification of which candidates misleadingly or erroneously accuse their opponents of dishonesty. Let's leave the hyperbolic political rhetoric where it belongs, ignored.

ps- In my opinion, Rudy's tax cut quote seems tailor made for this column, any economist off the street would debunk it in a New York minute. I'd be interested to know the rationale for its absence.

Posted by: zukermand | September 24, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

SUSA, Rasmussen, and other polls show Edwards to be the strongest in the Midwest and the South. Edwards as the nominee would pick up states like Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, North Carolina, and West Virginia, and Virginia that all went Republican in 2004.

Posted by: Vox P. | September 24, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Recent Survey USA polls in red and purple states show that John Edwards is the most electable.

MISSOURI 11 Electoral Votes; 2004 results: Bush 53, Kerry 46

Obama 46 Obama 48 Obama 51
Giuliani 44 Thompson 45 Romney 40

Clinton 45 Clinton 48 Clinton 51
Giuliani 48 Thompson 45 Romney 40

Edwards 47 Edwards 50 Edwards 56
Giuliani 42 Thompson 40 Romney 32

OHIO 20 Electoral Votes; 2004 results: Bush 51, Kerry 49

Obama 39 Obama 42 Obama 45
Giuliani 52 Thompson 50 Romney 46

Clinton 47 Clinton 48 Clinton 52
Giuliani 48 Thompson 47 Romney 42

Edwards 47 Edwards 52 Edwards 56
Giuliani 48 Thompson 43 Romney 36

IOWA 7 Electoral Votes; 2004 results: Bush 50, Kerry 49

Obama 50 Obama 51 Obama 51
Giuliani 42 Thompson 41 Romney 41

Clinton 50 Clinton 50 Clinton 50
Giuliani 42 Thompson 44 Romney 43

Edwards 53 Edwards 54 Edwards 54
Giuliani 39 Thompson 37 Romney 38

NEW MEXICO 5 Electoral Votes; 2004 results: Bush 50, Kerry 49

Obama 46 Obama 52 Obama 55
Giuliani 46 Thompson 41 Romney 36

Clinton 51 Clinton 53 Clinton 54
Giuliani 43 Thompson 42 Romney 39

Edwards 48 Edwards 52 Edwards 54
Giuliani 44 Thompson 37 Romney 34

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/9/24/132345/176

Posted by: Tom Wells | September 24, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Check out Survey USA's recent spate of state head to head matchup polls, in which Edwards has the widest margins against Republicans in many key states.

The opinion of Republican site Real Clear Politics notwithstanding, Edwards does in fact do better against Republicans than either Clinton or Obama in MOST polls. And he would be able to compete in Southern states where he could not, helping Democrats in downticket races as well.

John Edwards is stating a fact when he says he is the most electable Democrat.

Posted by: Laura | September 24, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

SurveyUSA has done some state polling recently:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/9/24/132345/176

It shows Edwards strongest in Iowa, Missouri, and by a nose in Ohio, while Clinton is strongest in New Mexico. Some other state polling (Rasmussen) has shown Clinton strongest in Virginia.

In sum, I think each candidate puts different states into play. If Edwards puts Iowa and Missouri and North Carolina into "tinted blue" territory while having a 50-50 shot at Ohio, it's about the same as Clinton putting Virginia and New Mexico and Arkansas into tint blue territory while having a 50-50 shot at Florida and Ohio.

No one has polled Kentucky recently to see if anyone is competitive there.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | September 24, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs,
I noticed you failed to address my initial criticism. How does displaying a chart in which Mr. Edwards has the highest average margin over GOP opponents demonstrate his claim is "wild exaggeration"?

Posted by: zukermand | September 24, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Easy debunking of your so called "fact check"...

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/9/24/132345/176

Oh, I see others had the same thoughts. Oh well, I guess the readers can't help it if the author only looks at RCP for their numbers. The general election will be won with electoral votes.

Posted by: jsamuel | September 24, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I don't think it really matters who the Democratic nominee is. 2008 will be a landslide win for the party, regardless of who the standard-bearer is. The Republican Party is no longer a national party. They are a regional southern party. I don't expect to see them competitive on a national level again for a couple generations. The Democrats should gain at least 7 Senate seats and 30-50 more House seats in 2008, and win around 400 electoral votes in the presidential election. By 2016, the Democrats should have veto-proof majorities in both chambers of congress.

Posted by: Steve | September 24, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Another thought...

John Edwards statement was on September 3rd, but you supposedly "fact check" him with numbers from September 24th?

Anyone else see a problem there?

Posted by: jsamuel | September 24, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Those SurveyUSA state polls are really the ones to look at. Clinton's huge base of support in New York and Obama's huge base in Illinois aren't that useful in winning a presidential election. Edwards is simply devastating to Republicans in the Midwest, and runs well in the South. Winning there is what Democrats need.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | September 24, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

This is like asking:

"Is the Washington Post the most reputable news source" ?

I guess it depends on the polls. Huh?

I'm an Independent and support John Edwards because I don't want Bush's Third Term. Hillary and Obama are wonderful people, but considering that racism and sexism still exist in our country, yes, Edwards is the most electable.

Posted by: Denise | September 24, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

This is such a strange article and seems to confirm the theory that Corporate Media is in fact trying to undermine the Edwards campaign. I expect better from the Washington Post but then I'm an optimist. I don't know about the nose but the author seems to have a wooden head.

Posted by: SMucci | September 24, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, WaPo prefers a Corporate Democrat like Hillary who takes bribe money from DC lobbyists who work for corporations who buy advertising in WaPo.

Posted by: annefrank | September 24, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Real Clear Politics is loved by the Gopers.
There isn't much of anything they produce that isn't slanted towards a Neocon/Gop Bent. They are as manipulative & untrustworthy as Statistics Triangulators get.
If Real Clear Politics were to be believed, the Democratic Party would not have taken the Senate & the House last year. Because they were not predicting those two big changes.

Corporate Media only reveals what it wants and keeping Edwards out of the Picture is what Corporate Media is aiming for. They've had great sucess at doing so.

Only John Edwards can win this election, in close to a Landslide and be able Hold & make Gains for the Dems in Congress, especially in marginal States & Districts.

That's what the more reliable/accurate Polling Firms are showing. It is what I see too and Charlie Cook would probably agree.

Posted by: SFGLBT | September 24, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Democrat is an insult, its like the N-word for progressives

Posted by: rufus | September 24, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

zukermand,
Check out pollster.com/about where you will find this:

Mark Blumenthal

Mark Blumenthal is the editor and publisher of Pollster.com. He began writing the Mystery Pollster blog in September 2004. Blumenthal has been in the political polling business for more than 20 years, conducting and analyzing political polls and focus groups for Democratic candidates and market research surveys for major corporations. His experience includes work with pollsters Harrison Hickman, Paul Maslin, Kirk Brown, Celinda Lake, Stan Greenberg and 15 years with his former partners David Petts and Anna Bennett in the firm Bennett, Petts and Blumenthal (BPB). In January of 2007, he left BPB to devote full time to Pollster.com

His academic background includes a Political Science degree from the University of Michigan and course work towards a Masters degree at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM) at the University of Maryland. He has also served as a guest lecturer at the Communications School at American University and at training seminars sponsored by EMILY's List, the Democratic National Committee and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.

Disclosure: Although I have worked for Democratic candidates for the last twenty years, I have left my old firm and am now working full-time on Pollster.com and related ventures. I will not conduct research on behalf of candidates or campaigns during the 2008 cycle. As always, the views expressed on this blog are mine alone and may not reflect those of the owner of Pollster.com, Polimetrix, Inc.

I'm sorry, but somebody with those credentials is not an unbiased pollster.

Posted by: Washington Dame | September 24, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Fact Checker:

Please raise the bar on your sources and arguments. Your blog post is worthy of an F. In fact, I'd qualify it as baseless smear, certainly not "The Facts."

Posted by: Amy | September 24, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I'll be writing to the Washington Post urging them to fire Michael Dobbs and to discontinue the Fact Checker page. I encourage the rest of you who are as offended as I am to do the same. The Post doesn't need to be catering to the right-wing like this. In case you haven't noticed, Mr. Dobbs, America is sick and tired of you right-wingers. It's time for you people to go away.

Posted by: Corby | September 24, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

The flaw in the RealClearPolitics methodology is quite simple ... its not a matched set of polls. Since Clinton is leading the national primary preference polls and Obama is second, many head to head state matchups only include those two.

The recent Survey USA state matchups, with the top three Democratic and Republican contenders, confirm the results of Rasmussen, with Edwards tending to outperform Obama and Clinton ... and doing very well in potential swing states, like Missouri, Iowa, and Ohio.

Posted by: BruceMcF | September 24, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Washington Dame,
Thank you. I would appreciate an actual example of partisanship displayed in a professional capacity. As I said, I do not read minds and I do not presume one's prior employment necessarily dictates one's political philosophy, let alone their professional product.

Posted by: zukermand | September 24, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Of all the things you cover, Mr. Dobbs, that is it? I notice that you have tended to hit Republicans much hard then when you cover Democrats. I could find much more in terms of whoppers that Edwards has stated.

But, this is still a good idea. keep it up.

Posted by: William Teach | September 24, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

may I simply say "wow" - if this is fact-checking, the Post is in serious trouble. not only is this an old quote by Edwards (in the world of political polling, anything over 7 days old is out of date), but you didn't even do enough homework to pass a laugh test.

When 'fact checking' produces this much correcting information, either you aren't looking at a 'fact' or you aren't 'checking'.

Better luck next time! (and keep that resume up to date)

Posted by: edgery | September 24, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

zuckermand,
I enjoyed your last post -- it's an excellent example of deliberate obliviousness.

Posted by: Washington Dame | September 24, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

In a lot of these polls the difference between what Edwards polls and what Obama or Clinton polls is within the margin of error so while Edwards may poll one or two points higher it is hardly significant.

I think people who submit that Edwards will be competitive in the South are engaging in wishful thinking. Edwards lost the 2004 North Carolina Primary in 2004 to Kerry and his only primary win was in South Carolina and I don't think Edwards would win that state in the general election.

He was little help to Kerry in 2004. Bush won all the southern states by larger margins than he had in 2000. If Edwards supporters are hanging their hopes on the electibility argument then they are in dire straights.

Posted by: daniel155 | September 25, 2007 1:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at this superficial and short analysis. John Edwards may or may not be the most "electable" democrat, but this column sure doesn't prove otherwise. There is enough evidence for Edwards to make this argument honestly. He may have to pick and choose among polls, but there are polls that support his point of view.

Edwards hasn't gotten as much attention as Hillary or Obama because they appear to be the favorites. I think if his name were out there more regularly polls might reflect even more of a bias in his favor.

I've read RCP for about a year now. I've concluded there is a definite conservative bias among the editorial board. There is too much support for the war, too much support for Bush, and here's a real clue: If you look at the very end at the blogs that are linked to the sight you'll see virtually every one of them is a conservative pro-war blog. I suppose I shouldn't expect non-biased treatment of Edwards.

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