Here’s the second half of the primary preview, this time focusing on the Democratic candidates. I’ll keep updating the topic as we approach the Iowa Caucus.
Edwards – He’s resilient, no doubt. He has a strong base in Iowa, one that is not likely to evaporate in the face of his inevitable third place or worse finish. Those supporters who do jump ship will be an interesting wild card in the caucus. He’s in worse shape in NH, so he could drop off substantially if he doesn’t fare well in Iowa, at which time the direction his supporters turn to will be even more important and interesting.
The rest after the jump…
Biden – Still just a blip on the radar, but like Dodd and Richardson, he has the potential to lget media attention if he does better than expected. he seems to be splitting support with Dodd, in particular. My guess is that his supporters would likely break to Obama rather than Hillary.
Dodd – Same story as with Biden, but with even less of an idea where his supoprters would go if he dropped out.
Kucinich -He probably won’t drop out, so the fate of his supporters is a moot point. Kucinich will likely repeat the results he posted last year, but i feel he has had more of an impact in the debates this time around. When he called out the candidates for their blind support of the Patriot Act and when he stood up for human rights (which Dodd and Obama threw under the bus immediately) he hopefully registered with some viewers.
Richardson – It seems like he’s playing to be the VP nominee, but he is doing well and could end up having some leverage come the convention. Its brutally clear that he is not ready for the national stage, and may never be, but he still has the advantages of being relatively well known, well liked, and well fed.
Obama – The Oprah play is really working out well. As is his strategy of having her audience register whenever they attend a speech of hers. A month before the caucus was a tricky choice because while it provides time for her effect to really take hold and it provides the campaign with time to really reach out to her audience, it does leave Hillary the opportunity to steal the spotlight in the weeks before the caucus.
Clinton – She’s increasingly playing the Nixon to Obama’s Kennedy. I don’t know where I first heard the comparison, but its a good one. She has had to come off he”above the fray” stance in recent weeks, and she has suffered from Obama’s rise, but her resources and polished political machine will make her difficult to tear down. The real worry from her perspective is finishing even a few points worse than expected and incurring the “what happened to Hillary?” news stories that would inevitably dominate the airwaves, derail her NH efforts, and likely hand the nomination to Obama. She probably has one more trick up her sleeve, but the worst thing to be in the early primaries is the front runner, because the only thing you can do is disappoint.