Holy Poll-y
By: Mark W Adams

I say this in all sincerely: Primary Polls this early MEAN NOTHING.

BUT ... What does matter is the narrative. The beltway pundits are the laziest "journalists" in the world. Take Timmeh! He doesn't go looking for stories, he waits for calls from the likes of Scooter, who always understands that everything is "off the record."

Polls are the media's way of making news instead of reporting on events. These polls will be talked about, and the trends noted. The movement will be discussed, and in the traditionally two most important primary states, Iowa and NH, the trends favor a positive media narrative for Edwards, and the opposite for Hillary and Obama.

The huge Feb. 5 primaries mean more when it comes to delegates, but those states are harder to poll, and the electorate there will be influenced by the media narrative of the polls in the earlier states.

For instance. Californians are in no way ready to think of themselves as an important primary state. The best that can be said of the state of the race, is that it's "fluid."

Al Gore has the highest approval rating in California. He's not running, and someone should let the left coasters know that. Edwards is second with an 83% approval, and the lowest disapproval at 6%, but 11% have no opinion of him. Hillary isn't hated there as much as she is nationwide where she's in the mid forties (including GOPers) disapproval. Among CA Dems, only 19% are sick and tired of her, and 76% approve, 5% no opinion. 16% don't know about Obama there, while he has a 73% to 11% approval/disapproval ratio.

Here's the problem with California right now, however. Not only is Gore "winning" there even though he hasn't raised a dime for a run, nor done anything in the state but collect an Oscar, but the large hispanic vote just doesn't seem to be polling anywhere near reality. Richardson, the nation's first legitimate hispanic candidate is polling statewide at only 4% (and that leads all the other "second tier" candidates).

The biggest blowout for Clinton is in California's Latino voters where she racks up the numbers by a margin of 59% to 18% over Obama in second place.
That just ain't gonna hold. The only thing I can make out of the California numbers is that Californians aren't taking this primary thingy too seriously, yet.

Right now, the polls mean nothing when it comes to predicting who will "win." But they are very important in influencing who can win, who's moving in the right direction, and who is viable/electable -- and who isn't.
Okay, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, Check This OUT!
John Edwards has received a surge of support in North Carolina in the last month:
• Edwards 39%
• Clinton 25%
• Obama 20%
Clinton slips, Edwards climbs in New Hampshire poll
• 27% of likely Dem voters choose Clinton, down from 35%
• Edwards is the choice of 21%, up from 16%
• Obama slips into third, but in statistical tie with Edwards
The New Hampshire shift is serious news. That is, if you believe that when journalists put out polls for the purpose of reporting on them, instead of reporting on, you know .... actual events, you can call it news. But I'll take it. This is the first time Edwards comes in second in New Hampshire, and the first time Hillary isn't leading the state by double digits.

More New Hampshire numbers from "Bucky":

80% - Edwards62% - Sharpton16% - Dodd71% - Gravel
69% - Gore30% - Kucinich15% - Biden47%-Richardson
69% - Obama29% - Clark14%-Richardson37% - Dodd
64% - Clinton27% - Biden13%-Kucinich36%-Kucinich
34% - Clark 25% - Dodd13% - Clark28% - Biden
30% - Biden24% - Clinton11% - Gravel24% - Clark
27%-Richardson21% - Gore11% - Obama14%-Sharpton
22% - Kucinich14% - Gravel10% - Sharpton09% - Obama
21% - Dodd12% - Richardson10% - Clinton04% - Edwards
14% - Sharpton10% - Obama 09% - Gore 02% - Gore
04% - Gravel08% - Edwards07% - Edwards01% - Clinton

YEAH, SO? Okay, from what I can tell, They LOVE Edwards in New Hampshire, but only like Hillary and Obama. And, judging by the "Don't Know" numbers, everybody's pretty much made up their minds -- at least about Hillary.

How about Iowa?

No "news" there. Edwards has been number one in every single poll taken in Iowa for this cycle. Here's the latest numbers for likely Democratic Caucus goers. (All other numbers in this poll are not even worth looking at -- and this subset had a +/- MOE of 5.5%, making it pretty stupid too.)

  • Edwards - 34.2%
  • Clinton - 28.5%
  • Obama - 19.3%
  • 12.5% - undecided.
Edwards' support among Democratic caucus goers appears to be linked to perceptions that he can win the presidential election. When given the statement "Edwards is electable", 89.0 percent of Democratic caucus goers agreed. This was the highest percentage in the survey. Eighty-six point six percent of Democratic caucus goers believe Obama is electable; 76.5 percent feel Clinton is.

In other GREAT NEWS:

Elizabeth Edwards gets some good news

AP - Elizabeth Edwards said Tuesday that she got some good news: She has a type of cancer that is more likely to be controlled by anti-estrogen drugs.Yahoo! News: Presidential Election

Picture Credit: "Elizabeth Edwards talks about her husband Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards during a town hall meeting at the Prairie High School Gym in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Tuesday, April 3, 2007. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)"
I caught this Town Hall on CSPAN, and noted that Edwards' message to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi was to "Stand Firm" on Iraq against the President, make him change course because he simply must change course.