Has USA Today Forgotten John Edwards?

Tue, December 18, 2007


As a general matter, I’m a big fan of Susan Page at USA Today, especially when she fills in for Diane Rehm on public radio.

So I was interested to see her article called Poll: Electability becoming more important to Dems.

Clearly, for a lot of us Democrats, we’ll be happy to have one of our own in the White House, even if it’s not the candidate we feel the most strongly about. So I was really disappointed that the article, which shows the results of their own most recent USA Today/Gallup poll comparing how Hillary Clinton would fare against six of the GOP candidates and how Barack Obama would compare, if the election was held today, left out the third front-runner, John Edwards.

Essentially, the Dems would win, though some contests would be closer than others.

But the poll doesn’t take into account how Edwards would do if running against each of those Republicans. This surprises me, not only because pretty much everything I read and hear concedes that there is a tight, three-way race in Iowa at the moment.

I’m also a bit shocked because other polls indicate that when looking at these three Democrats, Edwards consistently has a wider margin of victory against the Republicans than do either Hillary or Obama.

For example, while the USA Today poll shows Clinton beating Romney by six percentage points, and Obama besting Romney by 18 points, Edwards beats Romney, according to the December 11 CNN poll, by whopping 21 points!

These Dems against Giuliani? Clinton by one point, Obama by six points and Edwards by nine percent.

See the trend here? If electability is what we want to know about, where are the figures on Edwards and the other candidates? It is just striking to me that even before the Iowa caucuses a newspaper that is truly a national newspaper and is available everywhere has excluded Edwards, and the others in this way. Why?

Maybe it’s column space. But I think the fact that Edwards, as a true front-runner, was excluded sends a message to readers and voters that is a dangerous one to send — that Edwards is already out of the contest.

Am I being to cynical? I know Newsweek just dubbed Edwards the “sleeper” candidate, but if the polls show him doing better against the Republicans than his fellow Democrats, no matter who the GOP candidate is, and many of us are concerned about electability, I think we ought to get the results from the rest of the poll and see how Edwards stacks up, especially when you start talking margins of error.

On a lighter note, if you’re not done with your holiday shopping for the ‘tween member of your family who’s itching to get into digital photography, take a look at my review of the Discovery Channel Slide and Shoot Digital Camera over at PunditMom Reviews, courtesy of Parent Bloggers Network!

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4 Responses to “Has USA Today Forgotten John Edwards?”

  1. Lisa Says:

    This sounds completely horrible but I haven’t even let myself think of politics. Feel overwhelmed with Seth’s school issues (getting on the path for a learning disorder diagnosis), a family member in hospice and Christmas.

    I’m glad you’re on top of this.

  2. squenz Says:

    I agree entirely. One would hope that the Edwards campaign would make more of this in their ads, etc. He seems more reasonable and indeed more electable than the other candidates, and has also been through the full 2004 campaign including all the media vetting that goes along with it (i.e. hopefully no October surprises about his past).

  3. A. Beaverhausen Says:

    I hate discounting someone before the primary even begins. Good Lord I hope things start looking up for him media-wise. I’d love to see him run a strong campaign against the Repubs.


  4. Mary Says:

    David Brooks makes a good Obama argument in the New York Times. I keep swaying between the two boys in this race (at least my two boys, Obama and Edwards).

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