Posted by Brad @ 4:52 pm on February 23rd 2007

CrossedPond CattleCall — Democrats

Inspired by the dailykos cattlecalls, though certainly Adam, Rojas, and I—no stranger to electoral parlor games—have done them before.

Might as well start early, given that the election has.

It also annoys me when electoral bloggers never put their necks on the line, even though it’s clear from their commentary that they have definite opinions and predictions about how things will go; they’re just not willing to say them (because you will, often, be wrong). But, that’s the fun of it. To make fun of the people that are very wrong, I mean.

The rules: Rank the candidates based on how well you think they will do, not how well you would like them to do. This is just prognosticating, not soapboxing.

We’ll do this once a month maybe. And, of course, everybody join in–I’m just as interested to see what our commentators think as what Adam and Rojas do.

Here is the field. Include as many or as few as you like.


  1. For me.

    1) Barack Obama
    2) Hillary Clinton
    3) John Edwards
    4) Bill Richardson
    5) the rest

    The Democratic field, to me, is less wide open than it might seem at first glance, in part because there are no good dark horse candidates. After Edwards, the drop off is pretty precipitous, and from that field (Kucinich, Dodd, Biden, Gravel, Sharpton, maybe Clark (but I doubt he ever enters)), there aren’t any I could see ever gaining any kind of traction.

    Bill Richardson is the best of the third tier by FAR, and is a helluva impressive candidate on paper and in rhetoric, on a myriad of issues (in particular foreign policy–remember, Richardson, besides being a Governor, was also a congressman, the Secretary of Energy, and the Ambassador to the United Nations). In an ideal world, he would be a heavy contender, but I don’t think anybody can shake the feeling that he’s just vying for a VP slot on the Clinton ticket. More power to him, for that, by the way–he’d be perhaps the best choice.

    So, that leaves a three person field, and while again, John Edwards might look good on paper, he looks good in the same way Dick Gephardt did in 2004. Edwards frequently leads in polling in Iowa, and if Nevada is second, he will be a heavy contender (perhaps even favorite) for that caucus. He will not be able to crack the top two in New Hampshire, but South Carolina comes next, and it’s hard to see how he DOESN’T win that one.

    So the Edwards campaign looks good in the sense that, if they win Iowa, the first four shape up incredibly nicely for him. The primary calender just flat-out offers a HUGE advantage to John Edwards, and he has spent the last four years doing as good as he almost possibly could have to position himself for this run. He’s got organization, he’s got credibility, he’s got charisma, and he’s got grassroots support.

    But I can’t shake the feeling that John Edwards is a second tier candidate in a two-person field, and as it rolls into December of next year, there is going to be very little oxygen in the room left for his candidacy to breathe. And, if Edwards does NOT win Iowa, all of a sudden his one bankable and significant advantage crumbles. He will be passed over pretty quick–by the media, by the voters–and even if he still takes Nevada and South Carolina, the story becomes Iowa and New Hampshire, and the race passes him by.

    Of course, some might argue that Edwards, by letting Obama and Clinton beat the hell out of each other (and they will), could coast under the radar, and that might be true, but it could also mean that he is declared and branded an also-ran before the voters even start hitting the polls, which is what I think is the most likely scenario. Still, don’t count him out (and, for the record, he was my guy among the Democrats in 2004).

    That, to me, leaves this a two-person race, Clinton vs Obama. Clinton is the 800 pound gorilla, but Obama is the one with the shine on him, and, weirdly, the most Bill Clinton-like candidate in either race. It’s going to be hard to paint Obama as just the anti-Hillary candidate, but it’s also going to be hard to prevent a massive flocking to Obama of the anti-Hillary voters (more bad news for Edwards, btw). What’s ironic is that Rojas once said that, while 30% of the electorate would never vote for H.Clinton under any circumstances, 30% of voters would never vote AGAINST H.Clinton under any circumstances unless her opponent was Oprah Winfrey.

    Weirdly again, that’s not far from the mark in this dynamic.

    Obama just has too much potential for support, and Hillary too little. A strong Edwards run might end up being Hillary’s best chance (assuming Edwards doesn’t win outright), confusing and destabilizing the anti-Hillary contingent and letting her squeak through. But I think Obama is too much of a rockstar, too strong a candidate, too strong a campaigner, to not come on very strong, and once he has momentum, and the race, in the mind of the media and the voters, gets parsed down to just Obama/Hillary, the Clinton folks ought to be very, very worried, if they’re not already. He’ll never run away with it at any point, but he’ll be able to get it done.

    At this point in time I see Obama as the most likely winner of the Democratic nomination.

    Comment by Paint CHiPs — 2/23/2007 @ 5:16 pm

  2. Like paint, I think that there’s only three people in the race. I, however, rank it:

    1. John Edwards
    2. Barack Obama
    3. Hillary Clinton

    I think that Edwards has put in the groundwork and, with the calendar on his side as paint says, he builds up the momentum he needs. I think that Obama polls strongly everywhere and maybe he does take it. I think that Hillary’s problem is that people just don’t like here; she’s running against two people that are pretty likeable. She is, of those candidates, clearly the candidate to the Right, even though potential general election candidates won’t see her that way, and I don’t think that, in the primaries, that’ll be enough to beat two likeable lefties, even without considering her Iraq problem.

    So, Edwards the nominee. I don’t think that Obama would take the VP slot unless it really, really looks like Edwards is going to win. Hillary wears a facial expression that curdles all the milk in Wisconsin and doesn’t defend her Senate seat the next time around.

    I expect to be 100% wrong.

    Comment by Adam — 2/23/2007 @ 5:27 pm

  3. Decent RCP post titled “Edwards’ Lost MoJo”. His Iowa lead is down to either 6 points or nothing, depending on the poll you read.

    I have my own opinions about those “slips” that Bevan mentions, but fair or not, he has been stumbling a lot recently (the blogger thing was ridiculous but poorly handled all around).

    Comment by Paint CHiPs — 2/23/2007 @ 5:52 pm

  4. Today, Robert Novak discusses the Clinton-Obama spat and mentions the possibility that they’ll do sufficient damage to each other to allow John Edwards in.

    Comment by Adam — 2/24/2007 @ 11:33 am

  5. 1. Obama
    2. Edwards
    3. Clinton

    I’m just going off my poll of 3,000 or so people.

    It could be off, because of how plurality voting horribly leads to vote splitting.

    Comment by weltschmerz — 2/26/2007 @ 7:24 pm

  6. […] my scorecard, I have Guliani and Obama as the two most likely eventual nominees. In our last Democratic cattle call I think we were about evenly split, with me saying Obama, Adam saying Edwards, and Rojas, since he […]

    Pingback by The Crossed Pond » The Quiet Power of John Edwards — 3/13/2007 @ 12:58 am

  7. […] the right thing, for my money, but I can’t believe that it’ll be enough (and he was my cattle-call pick for the Dem nomination). posted in: […]

    Pingback by The Crossed Pond » Edwards and his decision to fight on — 3/26/2007 @ 8:43 am

  8. […] didn’t realize it had been so long since the last one. Whenever I think to do one, it’s usually in the middle of a Presidential debate or somesuch. […]

    Pingback by The Crossed Pond » CrossedPond CattleCall 2 — Democrats — 5/21/2007 @ 1:30 pm

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