Nomination At A Glance: Down To The Wire

by: Chris Bowers

Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:55


With only one week to go, money doesn’t matter right now. All the campaign events have been scheduled, all the staff has been hired, and all of the ad buys have been purchased. Further, polling in states after New Hampshire don’t matter right now either, since the first two states will scramble everything. All that matters is Iowa, how Iowa will impact New Hampshire, and then how New Hampshire will impact the national scene. With all of that in mind, and in the interest of providing more clarity, here is the only information on the nominations that currently matters:

Democratic Nomination, At a Glance
State Est. Date # Polls Clinton Obama Edwards Richardson Biden Kucinich Dodd
Iowa Jan 03 5 28.2% 26.2% 26.2% 6.2% 5.2% 0.8% 1.6%
New Hampshire Jan 08 5 30.4% 29.8% 18.2% 6.4% 2.6% 3.0% 0.6%
National NA 5 44.1% 25.0% 12.8% 2.5% 3.1% 1.8% 1.0%

Now, let’s combine this information with the three questions presented above:
  1. Iowa? Clinton holds a very slight edge in first-place choices, but that is entirely due to her advantage in ARG and Zogby, the two least respected polls among pollsters. Edwards has a favorable trend and a seeming advantage among second-place choices. Obama’s trend isn’t favorable right now, but there is also evidence to suggest that polls are currently undercounting his support in Iowa. In other words, no one has a clear advantage right now, and the top three could still finish anywhere in the top three.

  2. Iowa’s impact on New Hampshire? It is hard for me to imagine a scenario where, if Clinton or Obama wins Iowa, that person does not also win New Hampshire. When it comes to Edwards, with an average Iowa bounce of 11.3% in New Hampshire, and current New Hampshrie deficits of 11.6% and 12.2%, it has become impossible to tell whether or not an Iowa win will translate into a New Hampshire win, too. Right now, Obama must wish that New Hampshire, with its enormous secular electorate, was the first state in the nation, instead of Iowa. If, for some reason, Iowa has no impact on New Hampshire, right now I would favor Obama in the state. as the trendline there is extremely favorable to him.

  3. Iowa and New Hampshire’s impact on the national campaign? According to fladem, the average national swing for a sweep of Iowa and New Hampshire is 33%. This means that if either Clinton or Obama win Iowa, and thus New Hampshire, the nomination almost certainly breaks their way. If Edwards sweeps the two states, then it looks like a close two-way campaign between Edwards and Clinton. If Edwards wins Iowa, and Clinton hangs on to take New Hampshire, then it looks like Clinton wins the nomination. If Edwards wins Iowa, and Obama hangs on to win New Hampshire, then all three should have a good shot and it is anyone’s guess as to what happens next. I have to admit, the political junkie in me is kind of pulling for that result. This is great political theater, and I don’t want it to all end on Thursday night, or even next Tuesday night.
For my part, I’m not making any predictions until I see the final Des Moines Register poll. I will say, however, that I think the Edwards rise in Iowa has slightly improved his chances to win the nomination, but also improved Clinton’s chances to win the nomination. Right now, I say that based on the likelihood of the scenarios I presented above, Clinton has a 60% chance to be the nominee, Obama a 30% chance, and Edwards a 10% chance.

Republican numbers in the extended entry.
Chris Bowers :: Nomination At A Glance: Down To The Wire
Republican Nomination, At a Glance
State Est. Date # Polls Romney Huckabee McCain Giuliani Thompson Paul
Iowa Jan 03 5 28.0% 27.6% 11.8% 6.0% 11.0% 6.0%
New Hampshire Jan 08 5 31.4% 10.6% 25.8% 12.8% 3.4% 7.0%
National Feb 05 5 15.6% 22.9% 13.2% 21.3% 10.8% 3.8%

Romney moves back into the lead here. This is because with such a tight national picture, anyone who wins both Iowa and New Hampshire will undoubtedly go on to win the nomination. Romney still leads McCain in New Hampshire, albeit narrowly, and he has also caught up to Huckabee in Iowa. Only Romney can sweep the two early states. Right now, the only thing that can stop Romney appears to be Huckabee in Iowa, but the momentum seems to be entirely with Romney now. Still, if Huckabee wins Iowa, and Romney hangs on in New Hampshire, then it becomes Romney versus Huckabee the rest of the way. McCain’s best chance is to combine a third-place Iowa finish with both a Huckabee win in Iowa and either a Clinton or Edwards Iowa win. If that all falls into place, McCain probably takes New Hampshire, finishes off Romney, and the campaign becomes Huckabee versus McCain the rest of the way.

In terms of odds, based on the scenarios above, I give Romney a 70% chance to be the nominee, Huckabee a 20% chance, and McCain a 10% chance. Basically, right now that is because I expect Romney to win Iowa.

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I too am waiting to see the final DMR poll before making a final call... (0.00 / 0)
...but the available data certainly makes it look like the momentum is with Edwards and Romney.

It Sounds Like You (0.00 / 0)
are going to let the DMR poll make the call for you. Why not pick one now?

My call? Clinton.

And that is based on what I posted yesterday:
http://www.openleft....

Clinton's win is based on second choices. You see both Richardson and Biden are not going to get the 15% in 99% of the precincts and have their votes count. Therefore those voters go to their Second Choice. And that Second Choice is Clinton. Richardson and Biden voters are overwhelmingly going to turn to Clinton which gives her the bulk of their combined 11.4% of the vote. Meaning Clinton could win this by 10%.

Bowers has talked about who has the most second choices but...

He hasn't talked about who those Second Choices have for a first choice. If a candidate is viable such as Obama and Edwards it DOES NOT MATTER who those voters have for a second choice because they are not going to change their vote. Make Sense?

IMO Obama voters have Edwards as a second choice and Edwards voters have Obama as a second choice. Given that both of them will easily get more that 15% of the vote their voters are going nowhere in terms of Second Choices.

Meaning Clinton via Richardson and Biden's votes is going to her win handily.

I'd like to hear what Bowers thinks of this methodology as it is not one that I am aware of that he has factored in.

Bottomline it is not who has the most Second Choices going in...

It is who has the RIGHT Second Choices that are LIKELY to actually swing. That would be Clinton.

What do you think Chris?


[ Parent ]
What makes you think ... (0.00 / 0)
Richardson and Biden voters would go to Clinton? I don't see any evidence, objective or otherwise, that even suggests that to be the case (the polls strongly suggest they would go to Edwards, then Obama).

If anyone believes that Richardson is particularly close to the Clintons, you obviously don't know either family. They are NOT close. Big Bill worked for the Big Dog and they respect each other, but they are not close. In terms of ideology and temperament, I'd expect Richardson to choose Edwards if he had to make an endorsement (which he won't). And that's just him personally. Who the hell knows what his supporters think.


[ Parent ]
Because (0.00 / 0)
Richardson and Biden are closer to Clinton overall in political ideology and their supporters know that so it would be natural for them to gravitate to Clinton on their own - not to mention that both will probably ask their supporters to vote for her.

Because both Richardson and Biden defended Clinton during the debates and never defended or spoke up for any other candidate other than Clinton.

Because Pols who have been around a while who have similar ideology tend to support one another rather that support newbies or relative rookies.

Because Clinton is the one most likely to offer them a seat in her administration so they can helf fix the country and the world.

That's why.

(the polls strongly suggest they would go to Edwards, then Obama)

I don't know where you get that from. I havn't seen any polls that suggest that Richardson and Bidens votes go to either Edwards or Obama. There is no such data.

In fact the numbers suggest otherwise if you analyse them. If you look at the 'percentages' of second choices they pretty much line up like the 'percentages' of the first choices. Meaning Obama and Edwards supporters have either Obama or Edwards as their second choice. Which btw is exactly how it shakes out in the blogosphere. And Clinton running third overall in second choices seems to have simular second choice percentages as what Richardson and Biden command in first choice votes. It's not that hard to figure out what is going on here with the second choice votes.

Then taking 2004 as an example Dean's vote went to the more conservative Kerry pretty much. Second choice votes, I think it can be safe to say, move Liberal to Conservative - not Conservative to Liberal. A Conservative Democrat voter is highly unlikely to move to a Liberal when there is another Conservative available.

While Clinton, Richardson, and Biden all have impressive Liberal credentials they are also more conservative than the campaigns that Obama and Edwards are running. So that is where the conservative Richardson and Biden voters will go - Clinton.


[ Parent ]
Stop repeating points where the only evidence is your gut (0.00 / 0)
Numerous polls show that Edwards is leading as the second choice of supporters of candidates not named Edwards, Obama, and Clinton, as well as overall 2nd choices. Not all voters are voting for Biden or Richardson because they believe them to be more conservative or DLC. Some are reassured by their long resumes, some like Richardson's "all troops out" now stance, some like Biden's self-deprecating humor and confident debate style.



Join us at the Missouri community blog Show Me Progress!


[ Parent ]
Huh? (0.00 / 0)
Stop repeating points where the only evidence is your gut

Where to start?

First off most of what is posted on this site including by Chris and Matt is from the gut. That is what opinion is all about Superman.

And then after telling me to "stop" you proceed to tell me what is in your gut. Bravo hypocrite. Your just making stuff up. You can't point to where intelligent voters are voting for Biden because of his "self-deprecating humor". Pure BS on your part.

My opinion of the Second Choice votes is well thought out and based on decades of watching the Iowa Caucuses and how voters switch their votes when their first choice doesn't make the cut.

And the results of my findings just scare the shit out of you!


[ Parent ]
BS (0.00 / 0)
Can you post something empirical? Links to polls?

Join us at the Missouri community blog Show Me Progress!

[ Parent ]
Can You? (0.00 / 0)
Nope you can't.

Last night DMR Poll mentions Second Choices but even they don't mention what I brought up. And lets face it - like I said - not all people will even cast Second Choice vote because their candidate will come in at more than 15%.

It is only the voters whose candidate comes in at less that 15% who will cast Second Choices. That means Richardson and Biden, and to a lesser extent because of lack of impact due to level of support, Dodd and Kucinich.

So the TOTAL Second Choices according to the polls mean nothing. It is the Second Choices that will actually be made that matter - i.e. Richardson and Biden.

You can argue who Richardson and Biden's supporters will vote for but you can't argue that their supporters are the ones who will be casting 99% of Second choice votes. That's a given. That the polls or the newspapers or the front page bloggers can't see that is truly remarkable.


[ Parent ]
Well I hope you are wrong about Hillary at 60% (4.00 / 1)
I really don't want to move to Cananda!

If Hillary wins, I'm done. (0.00 / 0)
They can play this farce called elections and democracy without me.

[ Parent ]
LOL (0.00 / 0)
So if the majority of the people pick a different candidate than you then the elections are a farce?

You don't have any respect for other peoples votes then. Which means you really don't want a Democracy at all.


[ Parent ]
I think what he means is; (0.00 / 0)
The "MACHINE" decides who will win, not the people.
First of all this Iowa caucus CRAP has to end. It is undemocratic and really unfair. Just hold a primary with just regular voting, 1 person, 1 vote, nevermind this 2nd place nonsense and standing in the corners in front of your neighbors, so they know how you vote. The "MACHINE" of politics is very intimidating and we all know that is who is behind Hillary. They defeated Dean last time.My hope is the young voters will really turn out this time and tell that "MACHINE" to STFU. The country belongs to the people!

[ Parent ]
Enjoy Canada (0.00 / 0)
Pack warm clothes.

BTW - if Obama or Edwards were to win by virtue of getting the most second place votes I suppose you would feel the same about Iowa's chosen caucus system?

And since when are normal citizens of a state "The Machine"? Don't you have the choice of deciding to change your vote in the booth? Why shouldn't they?

All that is going on in Iowa is that if you have less than 15% of the vote in a precinct your votes go to your second choice. Many people like myself, and I'd venture to say a majority of the netroots, support Instant-runoff elections so that smaller third parties can participate in the Democratic primaries without weakening the stronger candidates chances. If you think about it Iowa is already doing that.

Don't you support Instant-runoff elections? It seems that you would so the "machine" as you call it isn't the only game in town and the smaller contingencies have a viable way of participating in elections and thereby over a period of time building up their image of who they are and what they represent and eventually becoming more main stream.

Public financing of elections also dovetails nicely with Instant-runoff elections. Now if you look at Iowa they don't public finance but their 'retail' form of choosing a candidate is as close as you can get to public financing because it affords anyone with transportation and a few dollars to participate in the process.

Why do you find all of that bad?


[ Parent ]
Possible interesting races (0.00 / 0)
Your analysis seems pretty spot on here.  But there are some interesting possible matchups.

How about Edwards-Huckabee?  That would bring in Bloomberg, and probably ensure an Edwards win.  Kind of fun to watch.  (And see David Sirota this am on populism.)

Edwards-Romney would be interesting too, probably the greatest contrast between populism/progressivism and economic royalism/opportunism.  Probably no Bloomberg there, and maybe many fundie stay-at-homes.

We need to remember that any of our 3 are better than any of theirs, although I like Hillary the least for a variety of reasons, and all are deservbing of our support in the general.  If Edwards does win, we are all really going to have to support him to the extent we can to boost his matching funds, while neither Obama nor Clinton would really need our financial support, leaving more room to support senatorial and congressional candidates.

It is finally getting interesting.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.


Bloomberg is in (0.00 / 0)
I'd give the chances of Bloomberg entering the race at about 80% now, regardless of who wins Feb 5, and Edwards-Huckabee or Edwards-Romney would only bump up his chances.  Probably the only thing that would make him pause would be an Obama win, but maybe not that either.

He's got the ego, he's got the Billions, he's bored with being Mayor, he's built his media empire, and he doesn't want to be Governor.  What else is he going to do?

My bet at this point: a five-way race with the winner getting no more than 35% of the vote, and the two major parties maybe getting less than 65% combined, depending on how effective Clinton and McCain are at keeping McKinney and Paul out of the debates (probably not very, if Bloomberg is smart).

Clinton (d)
McCain (r)
Bloomberg (Bloomberg/Lieberman/Hagel/Nunn/Schwartzenager party)
Paul (Lib/Const)
McKinney (Grn)


[ Parent ]
Barak and Secularism? Opposites, don't you think? (0.00 / 0)
One thing I just don't get about Chris' posts on Barak is why he thinks that Obama has the greatest appeal to the secular electorate.

After all, of all the Democratic nominees, Barak is by a large margin the biggest shill for "faith," and on one of the most important modern secular movements, gay rights, has irretrievably thrown gays under the bus (Donnie McClurkin). 

For full disclosure, I'll admit that Barak is probably fourth on my list of democratic nominees (after Hillary, Edwards, Dodd, and maybe Richardson).  If he wins the nomination, I'll hold my nose and vote for him.  However, I'd do so knowing that he will probably put secular and gay rights back about 10 years.


Over the top (0.00 / 0)
Obama has not "irretrievably thrown gays under the bus."  Yes the McClurkin thing sucked, yes the Obama campaign screwed that one up.  It doesn't change Obama's positions and support for the LGBT community.  It may be that Obama has lost the support of that community, but that community has no lost Obama's support.

My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington- Obama
Philly for Obama


[ Parent ]
Obama (0.00 / 0)
appeals to the young, educated "creative class," most of whom are secular, non-Christians. When I hear the term, creative class, I think of cultural creatives, most of whom are spiritual but not religious.

Banned for posting five straight diaries.

[ Parent ]
Vote for Edwards, Get Hillary (0.00 / 0)
This is the money part:

I will say, however, that I think the Edwards rise in Iowa has slightly improved his chances to win the nomination, but also improved Clinton's chances to win the nomination. Right now, I say that based on the likelihood of the scenarios I presented above, Clinton has a 60% chance to be the nominee, Obama a 30% chance, and Edwards a 10% chance.

At the political predication market, InTrade, Hillary has risen from a low of 56% to her current 70% probability of winning the nomination in the last 12 days. Hillary's nomination odds have been climbing in lockstep Edwards's Iowa odds (increase from 15% to 30%). Edwards's nomination odds have gone from 4.7% to 7.1% in that period.

Edwards's Iowa success helps Hillary a lot more than it helps Edwards. As long as there are two anti-Hillary candidates, they split that vote and Hillary slides right on through.

We are looking at eight years of transactional and triangulating politics. Time to buy stock in lobbying firms.

Obama was Hillary's biggest threat. He caught her off guard last winter, and hit her with fund raising shock and awe in the spring. She stumbled as Obama rose in November. But notice that she is no longer really attacking. She's sitting back and enjoying the show as Obama has to fight off Edwards. In fact, she has never really bothered to attack Edwards much. No wonder.

Edwards has such low nomination odds in part because of where he stands in polls, but also because of his financial problem which, because he accepted matching funds, cannot be repaired even if he wins in Iowa. 

As Chris pointed out long ago, an Obama Iowa win would probably lead to an Obama nomination after New Hampshire and South Carolina fell his way like dominoes, creating a wave right on into Feb. 5. That defeats Hillary and Edwards.

It's not as clear nor as bad as Nader voters electing Bush in Florida, but ironically, the Edwards voters in Iowa may be helping to elect the least progressive of the the viable Democratic candidates. The difference is one of degree, not of kind.

Bill Clinton claimed voters were "rolling the dice" with Obama. Bill's a smart man. Don't play poker with him unless you are really good at math and reading bluffs. Odds are he's smiling when he sees people rolling the nomination dice on Edwards.

Visit DebateScoop for political candidate debate news and analysis.


Edwards numbers rising in NH (4.00 / 1)
He has never ever in two cycles polled above 20%, but now that's where he's headed.  And after he wins IA, he may well shoot into the lead.  The next 2 states are friendly terrain, NV (unions), SC (native son).  FL straw poll will be tough...
But if Edwards wins the first 4 real contests, won't he win the most delegates on Feb 5th?  I think he's got a much much better shot that the inTrade fools give him credit for.  They are exactly the sort of guys who hate guys like Edwards.  They want to believe he is a joke not just to them but to every one.

[ Parent ]
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