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As we get closer to Thursday's Iowa caucuses, a new MSNBC/McClatchy/Mason-Dixon poll shows New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's support surging to 12%, vaulting him back into contention in Iowa.

While 12% isn't enough to win, Richardson doesn't need to win Iowa in order to be successful. Surpassing any of the so-called frontrunners will be a victory for Governor Richardson and give his campaign a boost heading into New Hampshire, while dealing a serious blow to the opposition.

As we saw in 2004, when Iowa voters made up their minds late for John Kerry (who was still polling at 7% in mid-December), in 2008 not all Iowans have made their minds up yet.

The poll also found, however, that one in five Iowa Democrats and one in three Iowa Republicans said they could still change their minds before the caucuses on Thursday — the first big test in the state-by-state battle to choose candidates for the November presidential election. [emphasis mine]

With 20 percent of the voters having a possible change of heart and 8 percent undecided, in addition to his current support which is surging, come Thursday Governor Richardson will be right in the midst of things.

Originally posted to Ken Camp on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 03:20 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  entire Democratic field surging (6+ / 0-)

    recent estimates have total support at 147%.

    "Being in the center just means you're closer to wrong."

    by Stroszek on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 03:25:50 PM PST

    •  And when you add in second choices, (0+ / 0-)

      the candidates have all gone logarithmic.  More or less.

      "Just for the record: you were right, I'm an idiot, and God bless you." -- Xander, BTVS

      by prodigal on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 03:28:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ha! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peace voter

      That's great.  It is real surgey around here that's for sure.  

      I honestly can't picture Richardson passing any of the top three.  They all have solid support that, from where I live, looks way they hell broader than his.  Maybe it's also the fact that the two times I've seen him speak here this year he seemed likeable but also quite unimpressive as a candidate.  Maybe it will be a sort of protest vote?  I guess weirder things have happened.

      The whisper campaigns and building up 'negatives' of your opponent any way possible is a failure of politics, not the fun of politics.

      by Sun dog on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 03:32:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think he could beat Hillary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nathguy, Sun dog

        The internals of all the polls show that her support is soft. I don't think he can beat Edwards or Obama.

        •  That would be wild (3+ / 0-)

          It's really hard to picture but a surprise like that would be really beautiful on caucus night.

          Where are you seeing that her support is soft?  Most of the polls touted in the media right now are claiming that her supporters are the least likely to say they might switch candidates.  I'm not saying I buy that entirely but those are the internals that I've been reading lately.  I'd love to see something different.  

          I thought what was going to hurt Hillary would be the fact that most people who will support her on caucus night have already signed on.   She seems the least likely to pick up new support.  I wasn't counting on many of the sleepwalkers supporting her now to wake up and get on with life liberty and all that and support a decent candidate.  Here's hoping they will.

          The whisper campaigns and building up 'negatives' of your opponent any way possible is a failure of politics, not the fun of politics.

          by Sun dog on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 04:08:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was looking at the internals of this poll (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nathguy, Sun dog

            Specifically the second choice voters, where Hillary is desperately behind everyone with 11% of the vote. Further, Hillary has the highest negative/lowest positive rating of any candidate in the poll (Gravel excluded).

            Those things tell me that Hillary will have her supporters on the first go round, but when the final vote comes in she may not do so well. If Richardson can get to 15%--a big if--then he would be well positioned to pick up the second choice votes of Dodd and Biden (perhaps Kucinich too). I that happens, he's in the low 20's with Hillary while Edwards and Obama--who both have very high 30% or so second choice votes--end up in the mid to low 30s.  

            •  Cool scenario (1+ / 0-)

              Hillary winding up in 4th just seems like too much to hope for and I suspect it is.  But if Richardson were to somehow come in 3rd, I can't come up with anything more plausible than what you've said here.  

              I have a feeling she is going to do too well in some of the big precincts in and around Des Moines to be knocked too far out of contention.  The press there, namely the Register, has really bent over backwards trying to bolster her.  They had supposedly objective profiles in todays paper of the candidates and Hillary's pretty much parroted her campaign's talking points while the one about Obama pretty much parroted Hillary's talking points as well.  On one part of it they said that 'critics' claim he doesn't have enough experience.  On another part they claimed he doesn't have much experience.  About as subtle as FOX.  

              The whisper campaigns and building up 'negatives' of your opponent any way possible is a failure of politics, not the fun of politics.

              by Sun dog on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 05:26:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Urban areas are diluted and.. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sun dog

                Urban areas are diluted by the caucus system. Further, I've yet to see or hear anybody say that they were voting for a candidate because the newspaper told them to. I don't think that has much of an effect. I think what has an effect is identifying people that are likely to support you, talking to them, and getting them to show up. I think Hillary has been deficient in that department. Further, even the DR ran an OP-ED by one of their columnists that basically said, "Our endorsement sucked, I am going to vote for Obama."

                •  I love this (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  peace voter

                  I love having someone try to convince me that Hillary could tank in a couple of days.  I will feel like a million bucks if you're right but when a fighter hasn't hit the mat yet, I just don't feel like throwing my gloves in the air.

                  You are right about how it's done with the caucus, but her campaign hasn't skimped on staff or field work as much as you think.  Her campaign has been a much more palpable presence in my town than John Edwards.  My wife made the mistake of signing in at a Bill and Hill event last summer when she was still undecided and they've never let up on us since.  It's a disgusting campaign to me but if I was a supporter, they sure wouldn't have missed us.  

                  Tonight I got a Hillary robocall telling me not to believe the lies and attacks I'm hearing from Obama robocalls.  Of course I nor anyone I know has ever had any kind of a robocall from Obama

                  That was a really good OP-ED by the way.  She's easily one of their best writers and she started it off by pointing out that she was there for the editors meetings with the different candidates and that she came out with a very different impression from what they eventually wrote.  

                  The whisper campaigns and building up 'negatives' of your opponent any way possible is a failure of politics, not the fun of politics.

                  by Sun dog on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 05:59:58 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There's a fine line there (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sun dog

                    Robocalls piss people off, and are just plain stupid. Also, you don't want to harass people out there. You want to talk to them once or twice a week, but not every day. While I don't have any experience with the caucus, I do have experience with intraparty endorsement elections back east. I think they're probably pretty similar in that there are a few voters, and only a handful of very important people that are going to bring 100 votes with them.

                    From what I've read in the paper, I believe that Hillary's campaign didn't take the right approach. From what I'm reading now, it seems that Obama is ahead (outdrawing both Edwards and Hillary at rallies). I am unconvinced on Obama though because a large chunk of his voters are under 35. The statistics say that they are a big force within the party now, but that is only true if they show up. I think they may. But I don't know. I hope they do...If they do, then Hillary has tanked, for if Obama wins he puts to bed questions about his electability, and Democrats will be free to go with their heart, which is clearly with him....  

  •  Very Nice! (5+ / 0-)

    I like Bill R.  He seems like a genuinely decent person.  

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 03:31:20 PM PST

  •  He had people canvassing in my precinct on (5+ / 0-)

    Saturday while we were doing the same. I'm an Edward's precinct captain and I've talked to the Richardson precinct captain who has some rather conservative leanings. I'm not sure where Richardson's policy aligns with his beliefs, but he is very vocal with his support. There have been several undecideds which have declared themselves Richardson supporters. He may be viable in our precinct, though I'm pretty confident we'll have a majority.

    George Bush never negotiates, WHY THE HELL SHOULD JOHN EDWARDS?

    by AltoonaDem on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 03:31:22 PM PST

  •  So he has surged from irrelevant to oddity? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter

    With a few more months he could be full fledged mid-carder.

    Don't steal. The government hates competition.

    by Common Cents on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 04:35:44 PM PST

  •  The difference on Iraq: 2013 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ken Camp

    Bill Richardson: "Get out now. Get all our troops out now. It is the only right and responsible choice."

    by Stephen Cassidy on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 04:44:30 PM PST

  •  Report on Rally Today (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    December 30, 2007, 7:19 PM
    Richardson Rallies The Troops In Des Moines
    Posted by Brian Montopoli

    DES MOINES, IOWA - "The election of the next President of the United States should not be by the national media, it should be by Iowa," an energetic Bill Richardson told a boisterous crowd of about 200 people in downtown Des Moines this afternoon. He vowed to "shock the world" by winning the caucus and spoke of a recent poll that put him "within striking distance of the top three."

    In a 20 minute speech, Richardson ticked off his presidential plans, among them getting U.S. troops out of Iraq within a year, universal health care, more cancer research, eliminating No Child Left Behind, making mental health a priority, and "stopping the Bush administration from building condominiums on forests."

    In a shot at Dick Cheney, Richardson promised that "my vice president will be a member of the executive branch." He engaged in a call and response with the crowd at both the beginning and end of the speech, opening by asking, "Are we ready to take our country back?" The crowd responded: "Woo!"

    "Are we going to elect a Democratic president?," Richardson then asked. "Yeeees!," the audience yelled back. "What’s that president’s name?," Richardson wondered. "Bill!," they said.

    Richardson entered the room to U2’s "Where the Streets Have No Name." He apologized to the crowd for the absence of Martin Sheen, the actor who played the president on "The West Wing," who has endorsed Richardson. "I was ordered by my doctor not to travel to Iowa because I have a severe, contagious cold that would not allow me to fly," Sheen said in a letter of support for Richardson, which was read to the crowd before the New Mexico governor spoke.

    Before the speech began, Jim Uhl, a welder from Des Moines, explained why he supported Richardson.

    "He’s got more experience with foreign policy, and I like what he’s done with veterans programs in New Mexico," said Uhl. "His health care policies are a big thing too. My wife has medical problems and we have a hard time paying the premiums. We may need to get a divorce just so she can get some kind of health care."

    When Richardson was working the crowd before the speech, he and Uhl exchanged a high five.

    Bill Richardson: "Get out now. Get all our troops out now. It is the only right and responsible choice."

    by Stephen Cassidy on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 04:50:00 PM PST

  •  Now there's the audiacity of hope! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, Ken Camp

    Go, Ken!

    But McClatchy's 12 looks like an outlier against the tabular background here:
    ... including Reuters larger sample for essentially the same interval.

    We must defeat them over there, or they'll follow us home ... hide under our beds ... and grab us by the ankles when we get up to pee.

    by RonK Seattle on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 05:55:45 PM PST

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