Polls Suggest Richardson May Replace Edwards As Number Three in Race

Earlier today I noted the support for Bill Richardson in a South Carolina newspaper. A couple of weeks ago I noted that the second fund quarter fund raising totals suggested that Richardson and Edwards might swap positions in the horse race. In reviewing the latest polls, The Concord Monitor also notes the changes in their relative positions.

The paper reports on the latest poll results, showing Clinton, Obama, Edwards, and Richardson remaining in the order seen in previous polls. As it is a long time before the vote, momentum currently means far more than relative numbers. They note, “In this poll and others, Richardson and Thompson are emerging as candidates on the way up, while McCain and Edwards appear to be sinking.”

Liberal talk show host Arnie Arnesen reeled off a list of this spring’s embarrassing news for Edwards – about his $400 haircuts and his work for a hedge fund that engages in business practices he decries – and predicted no good news for the former North Carolina senator.

“Edwards can only go down,” she said. “From haircuts to hedge funds, he should avoid the letter H at all costs.”

Arnesen sees considerably more hope for Richardson. “Bill Richardson is everyone’s second choice,” she said. “I think it’s a great place to be.”

More than one pundit pointed to Richardson’s humorous “job interview” commercials as having the potential to break through and catch voters’ eyes. “Richardson is really running a Bill Clinton-type campaign,” said Wayne Lesperance, an associate professor of political science at New England College. “The style of campaigning for him is really fun and novel and interesting.”

In the national race, falling in New Hampshire does not bode well for Edwards. Edwards hopes to repeat John Kerry’s path to victory by winning in Iowa, followed by New Hampshire. Iowa might be the best chance for a populist campaign such as Edwards’ but this type of campaign is also unlikely to play as well in New Hampshire. I could easily see Edwards win Iowa, although this is by no means certain, and then struggle from there, especially if Richardson continues to receive favorable media support in South Carolina.

Passing Edwards to move into third place would still leave Richardson with a lot of ground to catch up on Clinton and Obama. However, both candidates have their weaknesses, and should Richardson move into the top three his campaign will have far more credibility and many more will take a closer look at him.

Update: Richardson Receives Key Endorsements in Utah

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  1. 1
    Hawkeye says:

    Richardson is far too moderate to get the nomination, his moderate approach could actually WIN a national election. The moveon crowd and the other fruits will derail his campaign early. Too bad, as he makes a lot of sense and would make a GREAT president.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    See the post I link to in the update. Richardson has received the endorsement of Rocky Anderson, the liberal mayor of Salt Lake City. Richardson’s strong opposition to the war should may him acceptable to “the moveon crowd.”

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