Sometimes the way to measure the strength of a candidate is to figure out who worries the opposition the most in a straight up contest. Investor's Daily Business
has an article that says pollster, John Zogby, believes Edwards would be the toughest Democrat to beat:
While Clinton and Obama have been cast as the Goliaths of the Democratic field, "when you look at the numbers, they're not the strongest in the general election," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.
"After six weeks of Hillary-Obama, Hillary-Obama, what you have is just further confirmation that Edwards is a major player in all this," said independent pollster John Zogby.
Recent polls of Democratic voters in Iowa and New Hampshire also have shown significant support for Edwards. He's spent a lot of time in those early primary states.
So far, Senator Clinton and Senator Obama have been getting the noise, particularly in some polls but sometimes the buzz is deceptive (remember Howard Dean's early poll numbers?). Hillary Clinton may be the tried and true, and Barack Obama may be riding a wave of popularity after his latest book tour, but Edwards has been working steadily in the background almost under the radar.
Now here's some evidence that it's Edwards that Republicans worry about; here's Larry Kudlow, a champion spinner from the very conservative National Review:
So, John Edwards has thrown his hat into the presidential ring. Unfortunately, he has a losing message, and his ultra-liberal approach will elicit only a small niche of support among the ultra lefties in the Democratic party.
Democrats know (or, at least, I think they know) that their success in the 2006 midterm elections was largely a function of their best efforts to imitate Republicans. The conservative Blue Dog Democrats were the tail that successfully wagged the entire Democratic dog.
For starters, he wants to cut and run from Iraq. Such an ill-conceived policy would leave this budding nation in shambles, with terrorists following us back to the United States. It would extinguish the candle of Iraq’s democracy experiment — an experiment that could still pay enormous dividends if the U.S. follows through with a bold new troop-surge strategy and a refurbished plan of economic reconstruction. These actions — not cutting and running — are what will stabilize Baghdad and Iraq’s democratically elected government.
Kudlow is a classic example of everything that is wrong about the people dominating the Republican Party these days. I won't take the time to correct his errors and assumptions and wouldn't normally even quote him. In fact, given how often Kudlow and his friends have been wrong lately, maybe I shouldn't be quoting him at all. But these guys know how to play politics and that alone is reason to note his nervousness about Edwards.
For the record, I live in Northern California and I know what 'ultra-liberals' talk like and they're few in numbers compared to liberals, moderate-liberals and moderates. Actually, I strongly believe ultraconservatives are also few in numbers but they have managed to get the financial backing of some very conservative people and, until 2006, they did a very effective job of fooling most Americans. I regard Edwards as moderate on some issues and liberal on other issues with loads of common sense that will serve him well if he is elected. Of course, Kudlow fails to acknowledge that Edwards would never have gotten elected in North Carolina if he really were an 'ultra-liberal.'
No doubt, the Republicans who dominate their party in Washington these days will be spewing all kinds of nonsense about all the Democratic candidates and they will continue the pretense that Bush and his friends knew what they were doing all along. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have already received their share of right wing noise. Fortunately, like John Edwards, they're strong people. One thing is for certain: the Democratic presidential nomination is wide open and we have a number of quality candidates who are capable of reminding Americans what a real president can do.
Labels: 2008 presidential race, John Edwards