It could be a big day for Edwards, and all because his campaign never lost focus on the little guy.
For months, Edwards has been rounding up support in the state’s rural precincts where the front runners have paid less attention. While Obama and Clinton have drawn crowds in the thousands in places like Des Moines and Ames, Edwards has been winning over people in tiny towns like Sac City (population: 2,189). That’s important, the strategists say, because under Iowa’s arcane caucus rules, a precinct where 25 people show up to vote gets the same number of delegates as a place that packs in 2,500. In other words, even if he loses to Obama and Clinton in the state’s bigger cities, he can still win by wrapping up smaller, far-flung precincts that other candidates have ignored.
“The bulk of our support is in small and medium counties,” says Jennifer O’Malley, Edwards’s Iowa state director. O’Malley says Edwards has visited all 99 counties in the state; the campaign has so far trained captains covering 90 percent of all 1,781 precincts. Rural voters are sometimes reluctant to caucus, so the campaign has been enlisting respected community leaders to encourage first-timers to get past their apathy or fear.
Still, even if he does pull off Iowa and possibly even South Carolina, it doesn’t mean he’ll get the nomination. Especially with how much money the other folks have.
I think ultimately an Edwards win in Iowa is a mixed bag for Barack, but bad news for Hillary. Because if Hillary loses Iowa, she’ll most likely also lose New Hampshire and South Carolina.
By the way, the rest of the piece really isn’t worth reading unless you want a retelling of Edwards’ bio, which must have been quite a coup for his communications director to get a story like that published so soon before the primaries.
I like the last sentence in particular as a not-so-subtle hint from the reporter to his audience…
There aren’t many days remaining to do that. If the nomination passes him by again, it’s doubtful he’d mount another run for the White House. There are plenty of second chances in American political life, but thirds are harder to come by.
In other words, “If he runs again, we will not be doing another one of these stories.”