Iowa Expert Demonstates Obama Would Have Won Without Edwards in Race

I have recently had two posts (here and here) which look at the question of how the Democratic race would have turned out if John Edwards was not in the race. Another analysis reported by The Los Angeles Times also demonstrates that Obama would have probably won:

An e-mail sent today by the school’s news service says that polling on caucus night supervised by Redlawsk indicated “that the absence of Edwards would have helped (Barack) Obama.”

The survey, which quizzed a randomly selected caucus participant in every Iowa precinct, asked the voters about their second-choice preferences. Among the 82% of Edwards supporters willing to back someone else, 51% named Obama as their next choice, 32% picked Clinton.

Wolfson’s claim “that two-thirds of Edwards supporters would have supported Clinton is just not supported in data collected directly from those who actually participated in the caucuses,” Redlawsk says in the e-mail. “Had Edwards not been running, and if nothing else had changed, my data suggest that Obama would have ended up even further ahead of Clinton than he was.”

(Obama won the caucuses with 38% of the vote; Edwards edged Clinton for second place, 30% to 29%.)

Redlawsk, from his perspective as an Edwards volunteer, went on to say: “As the campaign progressed, few Edwards supporters I knew gave any indication that Clinton …

… was their second choice. In my own caucus, which I chaired, when our Edwards group was initially declared non-viable, there was discussion of moving — but to Obama, not Clinton. In the end, we gained viability by bringing over (Bill) Richardson and (Joe) Biden forces and by negotiating with the Obama group.”

The e-mail continued: “Redlawsk noted that by the time Iowa’s county conventions rolled around March 15, Edwards had dropped out. Many Edwards delegations remained a separate viable group, but where they did not, the move to Obama was massive. In the end, Obama picked up nearly half of Edwards supporters, while Clinton picked up almost none.

Of the four Iowans elected as Edwards national convention delegates, including Redlawsk, all publicly moved to Obama on June 3. None went to Clinton.”

It adds up to a pretty powerful rebuttal of Wolfson, making his comment sound more like sour grapes than informed speculation. Indeed, Wolfson seems to have put out of his mind the organizational problems that, as various post-mortems have detailed, plagued the Clinton campaign in Iowa.

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. 1
    Michael says:

    Thank god. We can put Hilary’s last ditch effort to salvage some sort of win to rest. Either way, she would’ve lost. Can we please move on to something important now?

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Understanding the failings of a recent political campaign is something important–especially when we have new data to analyze.

    When Clinton supporters continue to try to undermine Obama’s campaign with desires to see Obama lose so Clinton can run in four years it is especially important to continue to debunk their lies.

    The Clinton versus Obama primary battle was only one aspect of the battle between the corruption and dishonesty of the Clinton wing of the party and those who want reform. This is an ongoing battle which continues well beyond the end of this year’s primaries.

Leave a comment