Noam Scheiber
Senior Editor

Who's Got More Blue-collar Appeal, Hillary Or Obama?
January 02, 2008

I'm crashing on a web piece for tomorrow, so I can't get too bogged down in this, but I did want to briefly wade into the debate Jon Chait and Jonathan Cohn are having about who'll do a better job attracting swing voters--and, relatedly, the working class. Jonathan cites a piece I wrote earlier this year about how Hillary has an edge among blue-collar voters because in some respects they value experience--particularly the ethos of waiting one's turn--more than white collar voters do. I still think this is true (though I took a lot of flak for it in the blogosphere at the time).

The Register Pollster Defends Her Poll
January 02, 2008

Here's an interesting passage from that Des Moines Register piece Mike mentioned earlier--about Democrats bashing the Register's own poll. It's the part where the pollster defends her methodology: J. Ann Selzer, whose firm Selzer and Co.

Will Republicans Turn Out For Obama?
January 02, 2008

Ankeny, Iowa  There's obviously been a lot of discussion about whether the latest Des Moines Register poll is prescient or delusional. The skepticism arises not so much because Obama is leading, but because of why he's leading--namely, the unusually high number of non-Democrats and first-time caucusgoers (and, to a lesser extent, young people) the Register identifies as likely voters. For what it's worth, I'm not ready to say the Register's turnout assumptions are crazy, though the skepticism is certainly warranted.

Meet The Real Star Of The Obama Family
January 02, 2008

That would be six-year-old Sasha, who almost refused to get off the stage at that rally Eve mentioned. --Noam Scheiber

As For Kucinich's Sloppy Seconds...
January 01, 2008

Dennis Kucinich made the following announcement in Des Moines today: “I hope Iowans will caucus for me as their first choice this Thursday, because of my singular positions on the war, on health care, and trade. This is an opportunity for people to stand up for themselves. But in those caucus locations where my support doesn't reach the necessary threshold, I strongly encourage all of my supporters to make Barack Obama their second choice. Sen.

Popular Uprising
December 31, 2007

Spend enough time on the road with Mike Huckabee these days and you're likely to hear the story of the Razorbacks stadium blanket. The now- notorious blanket came into being during Huckabee's 2002 reelection campaign, when it was quilted by an enthusiastic supporter and passed to a Huckabee aide, who later presented it to the governor. Huckabee's staff reported the gift in an ethics filing the following January. But its estimated $50 value struck a local journalist as suspiciously low.

Popular Uprising
December 31, 2007

Spend enough time on the road with Mike Huckabee these days and you're likely to hear the story of the Razorbacks stadium blanket. The now-notorious blanket came into being during Huckabee's 2002 reelection campaign, when it was quilted by an enthusiastic supporter and passed to a Huckabee aide, who later presented it to the governor. Huckabee's staff reported the gift in an ethics filing the following January. But its estimated $50 value struck a local journalist as suspiciously low. The journalist called the quilter, the quilter priced her handiwork at $200, and suddenly a scandal was born.

The Des Moines Register Poll's Self-fulfilling Prophecy
December 31, 2007

Just to add a bit to Mike's thoughts on the Register poll--Obama's lead is clearly driven by three factors: His lead among first-time caucus-goers, his lead among independents, and his lead among young people. What's interesting about the poll is that all of these groups make up a larger portion of its likely caucus-goers than in most previous polls. So the Register is basically saying that the groups that disproportionately favor Obama are much more likely to turn out than they have in the past.

Who Do The Biden Brigades Like Second-best?
December 31, 2007

Ames, Iowa  I'm sitting in a restaurant a few blocks from a public library where Biden held an event today. I won't re-hash it--see Mike's recent piece to get a sense of what his events are like; I can vouch for Mike's "blazing confidence" observation--other than two point out two things: 1.) The people who showed up--I'd guess there were 200-250 of them--were remarkably enthusiastic. When it was over, they gave Biden the loudest, most sustained ovation I've seen in Iowa so far.

Decoding The Obama Conference Call
December 31, 2007

Like other people on that Obama conference call today, I noticed campaign manager David Plouffe spending an awful lot of time talking about why a vote for John Edwards is essentially a wasted vote, since (Plouffe claimed) he doesn't really have the resources or the organization to compete after Iowa. It's possible that the Obama people see Edwards as the candidate with momentum in the home stretch. Or it's possible that Obama and Edwards are just competing for the same bloc of voters--pro-reform, skeptical of Hillary.

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