Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Now That Iowa's Over

Calpundit linked to this nicely-presented site, which supplies poll data for upcoming primaries through Feb 3. Some of the data is pretty old (Oklahoma was apparently last polled before Christmas), and none of it, of course, is post-Iowa. But it does raise some interesting points:

Gephardt, of course, was killing in Missouri. He had 37% in the polls as of 1/11/04, compared to Dean's 19% and Clark's 15%. Now that he's dropped out of the race, where will his supporters go? My money says they don't go to Dean - the Dean/Gephardt rivalry in IA got too nasty. I would've had trouble crossing over to Gephardt if Dean had dropped out, and I'm guessing that the reverse will also be true. Kerry could really make out here, if he can convince Gephardt supporters that he's the closest equivalent. But it's definitely time for a new MO poll!

Kerry's definitely got a shot at winning New Hampshire. But in every Feb 3 state, he's trailing the leader by at least 10 points. In Arizona, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, he's trailing the leader by more than 20 points. How much will his IA win help in these southern states? I'm guessing that they don't really look to IA for their political guidance. On the other hand, if he also wins New Hampshire, there will begin to be a certain aura of inevitability about him that will probably influence voters in later contests.

Edwards' surprisingly good performance in IA could give him enough of a boost to take South Carolina. But he's nowhere right now in the other Feb 3 states, which are all about Dean and Clark. I don't think Edwards has a strong enough organization nationwide to be able to take advantage of his IA boost, but then again, I would've said that he didn't have a strong enough organization to get the IA boost in the first place.

The upcoming set of contests are all primaries, rather than caucuses. (Huh, wait. Apparently, New Mexico has a caucus. How come I've never heard of that before?) That should make the poll data more reliable, because polls are closer in structure to a standard election ("pick your favorite candidate, and then go home") than they are to the horse-trading and vote-shifting caucuses.

I wonder how long it will take for Lieberman to drop out.