Keep an eye on John Edwards.
As our own Bob Moser reported last year, the former Veep nominee has been aggressively courting the Democratic base, through his anti-poverty initiative, outreach to key groups such as labor and visits to high-profile electoral states.
He’s kept himself a contender in ’08, even as the press obsesses over Hillary. In a new poll of likely Iowa caucus voters released yesterday, Edwards beats Clinton 30 to 26 percent. It’s the first time Hillary has trailed in a potential ’08 match-up. And it’s proof that Edwards’s five trips to Iowa this year–and nine in the past two years–are paying off.
Yesterday, Edwards stumped for Chet Culver, the Democratic challenger for Governor. Clinton hasn’t visited the Hawkeye state since 2003. And another poll released last week showed her beating Al Gore by just two points when New Yorkers were asked who’d make a better president.
At the annual Take Back America gathering of progressive activists, Hillary was reportedly booed when she talked about Iraq. (UPDATE: Though I’m told she also received a standing ovation at the beginning and end of her speech.) Edwards repudiated his support for the war last November. Clinton still stubbornly defends her vote and subsequent support for a stay-the-course policy.
Everywhere I go, Democrats and progressives don’t want Hillary to run. She may have name recognition and rock star status, plus a first man named Bill, but I’m betting that those poll numbers only continue to fall.
UPDATE II: I forgot to mention the results of a new online survey: the more regularly someone reads blogs, the less likely they are to support Hillary. Another ominous sign for Clinton with a key emerging constituency.