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How Edwards Wins

With a caucus, like STV, a voter’s second choice becomes very important. In the end it is more important what Biden and Richardson supporters will do than who is currently winning the three way horse race.

In yesterday’s Zogby poll Clinton leads with 31% followed by Obama at 27% and Edwards at 24%. The same poll today shows Clinton and Obama’s support falling with Clinton at 30%, and a Edwards / Obama tie at 26%.

Yesterday’s MSNBC (pdf) poll showed Edwards 24%, Clinton 23%, and Obama 22%. 68% of the MSNBC voters stated that if their candidate was not viable, they would select another candidate. When those non-viable candidate’s votes are redistributed, we have Edwards at 33% and Clinton and Obama tied at 26%.

Even more than the horse race, some of the demographic information is very interesting. While all three candidates had women’s support in the 20’s, Clinton drops to 16% support from men. If we look at union support Edwards has 36%, Clinton 23%, and Obama at a dismal 13%, the same as Richardson.

The main question is wh0 will the 30% of male and union voters support on their second choice. On both measures the scale strongly leans towards Edwards. The longer term question is, do the Democrats want to go forward with a candidate who has only 13% union support (Obama), or 16% male support (Clinton). In the end that is something Iowa Democrats will have to decide.