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Obama Tops Democratic Power Rankings, Clinton Takes Third

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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:37 PM
Original message
Obama Tops Democratic Power Rankings, Clinton Takes Third
Friday (12/14) at 02:11 AM
Chase Martyn

A lot can change in the course of a few weeks, which is evident both in the shifts in this week's power rankings and the continuing volatility of the presidential race in Iowa. Recent polls have varied a bit in their candidate rankings, but they all seem to agree on one point: the presidential race is far from settled.

Below, we seek to answer (for the fourth time) the question, "If the Democratic caucuses were held tonight, how would they result?" We based these rankings on impressions we received from activists, staff, and caucus-goers across the state and, at the most basic level, gut feelings and instincts. We hope only that our work provides one additional point of reference to readers who are interested in the perspective of Iowans who have watched the race unfold here for the past year.

First Place
Barack Obama -- Upward Momentum -- Obama has enjoyed a great week of press following his events with Oprah Winfrey. His organization is showing signs of real strength with its nearly 1,000 house parties across the state Thursday night, and he seems to have strong second-choice support. If the caucuses were held tonight, he would win.

Second Place
John Edwards -- Edwards may still have the strongest organization in Iowa, but that is no longer enough to keep him in the number one spot. His base of supporters is slowly shrinking, and many seem to be floating in Obama's direction. Edwards still has many talented activists in his corner and may be viable in more rural precincts than Obama, but if the caucuses were held tonight, we predict he would take second.

Third Place
Hillary Clinton -- Downward Momentum -- Clinton's campaign has demonstrated a renewed commitment to retail politics at recent events, but neither she nor her husband are drawing the large crowds they once did. Fairly or not, she is slowly being branded as the 'negative' candidate, diminishing her second-choice support. The excitement surrounding her candidacy is waning, and her campaign seems to be too busy putting out public relations fires from day to day to do much about it. The campaign itself, along with independent groups like Emily's List, have devoted significant resources to build an organization here that should not be underestimated, but, if the caucuses were held tonight, we think she would finish third.

Fourth Place
Joe Biden -- Upward Momentum -- Biden seems to be slowly emerging as the default second choice for caucus-goers who do not wish to support one of the top three candidates in the second round of voting. (This is a space similar in certain ways to the space Edwards occupied in 2004, when he won a surprise second place finish.) Other candidates can't seem to say one bad thing about him, which doesn't hurt.

Fifth Place
Bill Richardson -- Richardson's staff is diligent in the areas where they are working, but they can only do so much. His campaign has not caught on among enough traditional Democratic activists, who are crucial for getting out the vote.

Sixth Place
Chris Dodd -- Dodd has been living in Iowa, but it is unclear how many caucus-goers even know that. He is committed to retail politics and has a talented staff, but his candidacy still fails to generate much buzz. Everyone likes him, but most will not caucus for him.

Seventh Place
Dennis Kucinich -- Despite brief signs of life two weeks ago, Kucinich appears once again to be ignoring Iowa.

Eighth Place
Mike Gravel

http://www.iowaindependent.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=164...
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Love the man, but 4th place ain't gonna cut it.
Edwards turned his position of "everybody's second choice" into a strong showing four years ago. But if Biden doesn't break into the top three in Iowa or NH, I'll probably have to go leader shopping again.
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snowbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Wasn't Kerry in 4th place about this time last election?

The thing about Iowa is... none of us really has a clue how things are going to turn out.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. I don't think so if you shift the calander about half a month
Then Kerry was third (to Gephardt and Dean) and was already gaining momentum. Leiberman was nowhere, and Kerry was always above Edwards.
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calteacherguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'm glad Biden is doing well.
I really am. I think Obama is a bit more inspirational, which is what the country needs right now, but Biden would make a great President.

I would worry about making those darn verbal "gaffes," though. It's great to have a person with his foreign policy expertise in our Party, and he deserves to be regarded as one of the serious contenders.
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Hey Teacherguy!
Great to have you back on board! :hi:
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. My predictions as of a few days ago still stand. Close, but Obama
Will come in 2nd.....from what I can see. Too much time to go for him to go any higher.



"I will call Iowa for Edwards....<>

Obama will take a respectful 2nd place finish, and Hillary third. Biden will come in fourth, and Richardson will take fifth. If Biden and Hillary's placing are reversed, it won't help Biden win any additional states beyond allowing him to live another day, but it will be the beginning of higher than before doubts by the Hillary campaign. Dodd will drop out after Iowa and endorse Hillary."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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calteacherguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I don't think Edwards has any momentum at all.
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 07:32 PM by calteacherguy
His campaign seems to be losing enthusiasm. The momentum is with Obama and I do think he will win.

You could be right, though. I think it will be close between Edwards and Obama, or Obama will run away with it. I will be surprised if Hillary does not come in third. If Biden adds to his momentum he might take third.

Edit: Even if Obama does come in a close second to Edwards, it would still put him in a good position going into NH, given that Hillary in all likelihood will not be placing first or even second.
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Robbins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Iowa
My gut tells me that Obama will win Iowa but Edwards will come a strong second.I think some of the
Hillary people may switch to Edwards.I think a upset may be Hilarcoming In fourth,and Biden finishing third.
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surfermaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. What the heck
Remember when the debate started the last debate this week, they had 30 democrats as a group only 3 were for Edwards after the debate half of the thirty was for Edwards.. Now what is the problem, with momentum
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