Posted: August 30, 2007 5:38 PM
Internal Edwards Memo Touts Electability in General Election
Even as it drafts a battle plan for the nominating process — including a big win in Iowa — John Edwards’ campaign plans to use the former North Carolina senator’s electability in the general election to secure the Democratic nomination, according to an internal campaign document published by Mark Ambinger’s blog at The Atlantic The memo drafted by pollster Harrison Hickman cites recent polling that puts Edwards further ahead of leading Republican candidates in a general election matchup than his main Democratic opponents, Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill.
The document summed up the national numbers as follows:
“Nationwide general election polling shows John Edwards is the Democrat with the best chance of defeating the Republican candidate in the 2008 general election for President. Edwards is the only Democrat with a significant lead in a head-to-head match-up against Republican frontrunner Giuliani.
Against the other three major Republican candidates, Edwards’ average margin of victory is virtually identical to that of Barack Obama, and significantly higher than Hillary Clinton’s average margin. Edwards also outperforms the other Democratic candidates in match-ups with Republican candidates in key battleground states including Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Further, unlike other Democrats who must “run the table” in states where Democrats have been competitive in recent elections, Edwards brings new states into play. This provides alternate scenarios - and a margin for error - when it comes to amassing 270 electoral votes.”
A recent Time poll has Edwards back as the leader in Iowa with 29 percent, compared to 24 percent for Clinton and 22 percent for Obama with a 5 percent margin of error. Edwards also enjoys the lead again this month in the Daily Kos straw poll.
Edwards also received praise this week from former President Jimmy Carter at a joint appearance in Georgia. The Washington Post blog quotes Carter saying, “I can say without equivocation that no one who is running for president has presented anywhere near as comprehensive and accurate a prediction of what our country ought to do in the field of environmental quality, in the field of health care for those who are not presently insured, for those who struggle with poverty.”
Carter went on to say, “I think he is a very appealing candidate, especially for rural voters.”
But even with all the praise and positive polls, Edwards received some hits from notable conservatives this week. Brit Hume of FOX News went after the former senator’s recent call for Americans to dump their SUVs, pointing out that Edwards owns two, one a hybrid.
And Robert Novak writes about a potential fall from grace for Edwards among party insiders.
Endorsements from labor could be headed Edwards’ way according to the Wall Street Journal. They point out the president of Unite Here, which represents 450,000 hotel and apparel workers, said this week he likes Edwards, who also enjoys support from the Service Employees International Union and the United Steelworkers.
The Detroit Free Press reports on the indictment of lawyer Geoffrey Fieger for illegal donations to Edwards’ 2004 campaign. Edwards did not know of the actions and has cooperated with the investigation, according to his campaign.
And the Spartanburg Herald-Journal previews an event Thursday night in South Carolina, while his wife, Elizabeth is in New Hampshire. Edwards plans to head back to Iowa this week before heading to Montana and Wisconsin the next.
Last week, the Edwards family made a bus tour through New Hampshire kicked off by a speech in Hanover.