Thursday, December 13, 2007

While Clinton/Obama Spar, Edwards Shines

After the Des Moines Register debate today, the CNN focus group of undecided caucus goers voted John Edwards the clear winner of the debate, and, when asked which candidate they would now caucus for, Edwards topped the list. Even as advisers for Clinton and Obama continued to spar over who started throwing mud-mud that has today caused Clinton's national co-chair to resign-John Edwards is on message and on task, making a clear and convincing argument that he is the candidate who will fight for everyday working people. While the media yearns for a two-way race, John Edwards will not back down. In the coming days, as Clinton and Obama engage in a tug of war over kindergarten statements and teenage indiscretions, look for Edwards to stay positive. Here are just a few of the post-debate comments:

CNN Focus Group Declared Edwards the Winner. A CNN focus group of 23 undecided registered Democrats in Iowa who watched the debate declared John Edwards the winner of the debate. CNN’s Mary Snow: “Twenty-three registered Democrats came in here undecided. We asked them who they felt performed the best in this debate and they concluded they felt that John Edwards performed the best, with Senator Clinton right behind him. Now of course, this is unscientific, but also the other question posed to them. If the election were held today, who would you vote for? And in that question, John Edwards came in first, Senator Barack Obama second, and Senator Clinton came in third.” Those participating in the CNN dial group said they would vote for Edwards. “If you were going to vote today, for whom would you vote?”: Edwards 39%, Obama 26%, Clinton 22%. [CNN, 12/13/07]

CNN: Edwards’ Answer on Education Was One of Debate’s Strongest Moments. CNN’s Mary Snow: “Also when the candidates were talking about education, that really resonated with the people here in this room, 23 registered democrats who are undecided. Take a look at how they responded when John Edwards was talking about his education plans.” Video of Edwards: “We need to radically change No Child Left Behind. And if that doesn’t work, we should get rid of it.” Snow: “Those were two of the strongest moments.” [CNN, 12/13/07]

NBC's Chuck Todd: “Edwards Seemed To Do a Good Job of Talking to Iowans Specifically.” “Edwards seemed to do a good job of talking to Iowans specifically; he strikes me as being the John Edwards of late 2003; Could he be on a similar comeback trail that he experienced in '03 in Iowa? Time will tell.”

TIME’s Mark Halperin: Edwards “displayed with mechanized efficiency the same confidence and warm populism that he has nearly perfected on the campaign trail. Grade: A-”

CBS’ Vaughn Ververs: “If There Was a Winner, It May Have Been Edwards.” “If there was a winner, it may have been Edwards. His answers to almost every question hewed to his populist themes of sticking up for the disadvantaged and sticking it to corporate America. That should play well among Democrats in Iowa.”

Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “One of the Most Gifted (if Not the Most Gifted) Debater on Any Stage.”
“John Edwards (First 45 minutes): Edwards is, without question, one of the most gifted (if not the most gifted) debater on any stage. And, for the first 45 minutes of the debate his populist ‘us versus them’ message really hit home. ‘Corporate power and greed have literally taken over the government,’ he said at one point; ‘You have to be willing to fight....I have been fighting these people and winning my entire life,’ he said at another.”

Bleeding Heartland Blog: “Edwards Did Indeed Win the Debate.” Chris Woods wrote, “I'm going to argue that John Edwards did indeed win the debate. He articulated a coherent message that blamed corruption, greed, and entrenched interests for the problems America faces. He also clearly told viewers that the only way to enact the policies and proposals that the candidates have promised is to elect a president that will unite America to stand up and fight back against these people. His criticisms were constant, his answers honest, and his leadership potential was clear. He told us how he is fighting for the middle class, and how he's the candidate to truly enact change.”

Focus Group of Iowa Voters Declares Edwards the Winner.

Frank Luntz: “I want you to raise your hands if you walked in here with John Edwards as your first choice. One, two of you. How many of you thought John Edwards won the debate? [Majority of crowd raises hand.] What was it about John Edwards – you didn’t pick him – but what was it about John Edwards you thought stood out?”
“Very believable…He came in there with answers”: Democratic voter #1: “I had John Edwards coming in number three, and he was very believable, he didn’t beat around the bush, he talked about the strong interest groups that he’s been fighting for all the time, and he has a plan. He came in there with answers.”
“Refreshingly authentic…I was very moved”: Democratic voter #2: “I thought he was refreshingly authentic. I didn’t expect it and I was very moved by many of his words.”
“I was really moved”: Frank Luntz: “Susan, you weren’t an Edwards person when you walked in…” Democratic voter, Susan: “Edwards was my third choice when I walked in.” Luntz: “And yet you thought he won.” “He was concise, he got to the point, he answered the questions without beating around the bush, and I was really moved when he talked about how he has worked all his life like David v. Goliath. That impressed me.”
“He was my third choice, now he is my first”: Democratic voter #4: “That was my line exactly. Authenticity, number one. I think he would go after the corporations that are causing much of the trouble in the world today. He was my third choice, now he is my first.” [Fox News, 12/13/07]

Iowa Focus Group Gave Edwards’ Answers Two of Their Best Scores. Frank Luntz said about a focus group of Iowa voters watching the debate: “Well, the Democrats, and this has been consistent from when we started, the Democrats are happier with their candidates today than the Republicans were with their candidates yesterday, and so it's very tough to choose the top dial scores - John Edwards had two of them.”

Edwards’ Answer on Education Was a “Homerun, But It Goes Even Higher When He Gets Specific.” Luntz: “Remember that our yellow lines, our gold lines, those are [liberals], the blue lines are moderates – the higher the lines go the more favorable the reaction. Edwards had begun this clip talking about education and it was a homerun, but it goes even higher when he gets specific, let's take a look. [JRE answer] He is off the charts.”

“When He Is Talking About Health Care, Middle-Class Tax Cuts. ..These Lines, at Certain Points, They Can't Get Higher Than That.” Luntz: “When he is talking about health care, middle-class tax cuts. ..these lines, at certain points, they can't get higher than that. John Edwards also did a clip on education; let's roll that second clip. Again, it was not just the generalities and the principles. When Edwards talked about exactly what he was going to do, it scored as well as anything we have tested in the debates. [JRE answer] Once again, he’s off the charts. The Edwards language was very effective today on all these issues, because he had passion, he had focus, and as our participants said, he had a beginning, middle and an end. Very impressive.” [Fox News, 12/13/07]

1 comment:

cactusJohn1 said...