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Follow-up Poll Puts Obama in the Lead

primary.jpgDick Price & Sharon Kyle
3 February 2008

After Sen. John Edwards emerged as the clear leader in the California Presidential Primary survey we reported on 10 days ago, we promised to poll the same individuals who responded the first time to see how their minds might have changed as events unfolded. Well, events have certainly unfolded and minds have followed suit.

First, Sen. Hillary Clinton wrestled a comeback victory in the Nevada caucuses, which helped drive liberal favorite Rep. Dennis Kucinich from the field, and then Sen. Barack Obamas win in a landslide in South Carolina, which was followed by Edwards withdrawalall to the tune of much heated debate and the sound of mud being slung.

Last time, 489 of our readers responded. This time 410, or 84%, of those responded to our follow-up poll. Heres what they told us.

Obama Leads as Edwards Bows Out
Although our survey was largely completed before John Edwards announced his withdrawal, our poll showed that Barack Obama benefited most by recent events, rising from 26% in the first poll to 32% this time. At that, he still would have trailed Edwards, who held ground with 32% the first time and 34% the second. Clinton kept pace with Obamas gains, going from 15% to 20%, which put her 12% behind front-running Obama. Kucinich dropped from 12% to 5% after dropping out of the race. The undecided vote similarly fell, from 15% to 8%.

Undetermined here is the effect Edwards withdrawal will have on the Clinton-Edwards head-to-head competition, but after putting out two polls in 10 days, we figured we had pushed our luck with our readers as far as it would go. In any case, the poll that will count for real comes next Tuesday evening.

The age, race, gender, and geographic demographics of our respondents did not change notably between the two surveys. (See the original analysis here.)
Passions Run High
Here are comments submitted by many who participated in our second survey. We randomly selected inputs that represent the range of positions expressed and the passions fueling them.

  • I like John Edwards because of his ability to analyze the issues and make thoughtful decisions and proposals. But I believe he has no chance. Also, I read Obama's interview with the SF Chronicle and learned more about many Obama positions, which I think are sound. So I'm switching my vote to Obama.

  • Unfair attacks on Barack Obama remind me how venal B and H can be. I'm still hanging out with Hillary for competence and I know she can sling back what the Republicans will throw her way. Can Barack? Still, will Barack be the same easy target Hillary will be? He's inspirational and doesn't have her negatives (however undeserved her negatives are).

  • I'm leaning towards Obama, because I don't want to waste my vote on Edwards. In theory, if he can use his delegates to broker more progressive policy positions from the other candidates at the convention, maybe it's worth still voting for him. But that seems unlikely. Meanwhile, voting for the first African American candidate is really pulling me. I believe Obama is more progressive than Clinton, so I want to support him if he's more viable than Edwards.

  • John Edwards is the only candidate who is speaking to issues of poverty and the only one who has defined programs and ideas. He is excellent on all the domestic issues (health care, education, infrastructure, corporate/media control etc.) At the same time he is committed to ending the insanity in Iraq and will bring the troops home.

  • Obama is a highly intelligent, sharp thinking man who is well respected by all who know him personally. He makes logical decisions based on facts. He has dedicated his life to helping those who cannot help themselves. While his words are firmly spoken and his speeches well written, his actions speak louder than his words. I want someone who can bring hope, prosperity, dignity and respect back to this country and the people who are fortunate to live here.

  • In reality I'm voting for a co-presidency. She was/is a very strong First Lady and Senator. I know that she had an impact/influence on Bill's tenure in office and I am sure he will have one on her. Ultimately both make up their own minds but I am sure that they give each other sound advice. I don't appreciate her vote on the war, but of the candidates she does have the most experience.

  • Barack Obama gives us the chance to take back our country, to see it move in a direction we wish to see. I want to live in a nation of inclusion not exclusion. I have every faith in Senator Obama's abilities and his past experience in Illinois shows me he has the forethought and judgment to know what will bring this country together, just as he brought Illinois together. Obama fills me with hope, I have never felt this way about a candidate before. This is an amazing time to be an American

  • Experience matters. Hillary is the most experienced and she also has vision. I heard Congresswoman Roybal-Allard on Sunday talk about how when she was a freshmen Representative she contacted First Lady Hillary Clinton about health issues that affected Latina woman. Within a couple of months, Hillary had called together a meeting of health care professionals to work on the issue. That is the kind of change we need.

  • Barack Obama has the ability to mobilize all Americans to create real change. Barack's human experience connects him to the issues that matter to the masses specifically healthcare, economics and education. He understands what it means to survive difficult situations. He's proven his aptitude for intellectual rigor. His open rhetorical style inspires individuals to consider new possibilities for their future. Change can happen when citizens believe that their perceptive matters.

  • Because after eight years of an idiot representing our country and the incredible damage he has done to our reputation, we need someone who a)is intelligent b) can an energize the people c)will bring our troops home d)will enter into an honest dialogue with America about our problems and enlist our help to address them and e)will protect our environment. I believe Barak Obama to be that person.

  • John Edwards has integrity and has not ever changed his course in centering his campaign on poverty and supporting the working class people in this country. I believe that he will eliminate the Bush tax cut for the ultra-rich and stand up to the corporate interests that are currently running our country. He is also looking towards developing Universal Health Care, which is one of the most important issues facing our nation. He will END this OCCUPATION in Iraq that is draining our economy!

Thanks for all your responses. Please get your friends out to vote Tuesday.

-- Dick & Sharon
by Dick Price & Sharon Kyle
21 January 2008


Dick Price is a publishing executive for the IEEE Computer Society and long-time magazine editor. Sharon Kyle is a financial analyst for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and student at The People's College of Law in Los Angeles. Together, as a husband and wife team, they publish several print and online newsletters on political and social justice issues.

Other articles by Dick & Sharon

"Edwards Leads Obama Among LA Progressives"
"As the Black Vote Goes"
Progressives Blind to Prison-Industrial Complex?"
"Garamendi Coy in Altadena"
"Kevin de Leon Hits the Ground Running"
"Portantino Reflects on His First Year"
"The More Things Stay the Same"
"The More Things Change: Remembering the Little Rock Nine"
"Fighting for Fair Wages"
"Veterans Fight to Save 'Hallowed Ground'"
"Winning Elections One Club at a Time"
"A Cab Ride with Xavier Becerra"
"It's Not Just MacArthur Park"
"Battling Gang Violence"
"Stormy Weather"
"Gunfire Down Below"
"The Iron Rainbow"

"The War Comes Home"
"Reporting for Duty"
"Healing the Black-Brown Divide"

"The Long War"
"Hopeless No More?"

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