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Children Of The Corn

Is this country still capable of taking itself back from these evil thieves?  If the answer is No, Welcome to the Fourth Reich.

  Hunter S. Thompson 1/8/04 (from the Owl Farm kitchen wall)

Hello from Owl Farm!  Jon here, recovering from a Christmas that can only be described as awesome and looking ahead, of course, to the Iowa caucuses.

With eight days to go, I can’t conceive of a more turbulent lead-up to the caucuses.  Until just before Christmas the received wisdom was that Obama, Edwards, and Clinton were headed for a free-for-all the outcome of which a staggering number of variables rendered impossible to augur.  Such variables include (but are not limited to) the weather, the Orange Bowl, the possibility that college students resident in Iowa may participate en masse, Iowa’s reputation for quirkiness, and so forth.  Hell, at this time four years ago otherwise rational people were saying with straight faces that either Dick Gephardt or Howard Dean would ride a win in Iowa all the way to the nomination.  Flash forward four years and you get received wisdom to the effect that the race on the Democratic side is just too close to call.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I noticed this American Research Group (ARG) poll that puts Hillary in the lead with a 34% margin over her nearest rival, John Edwards, who’s at 20%.  Obama is nearly tied for third at 19%, and Joe Biden and Bill Richardson score in the single digits.  The poll was conducted from last Friday, the 20th, through Sunday, the 23rd, and it demonstrates a marked rise in Clinton’s appeal from a similar survey conducted just four days before.  In that survey Clinton was at 29%, Edwards was at 18%, and Obama was 25%.  As I read it, Clinton and Edwards, but especially Clinton, have seen their stocks rise, and Obama’s support has softened.  Indeed, his numbers dropped by nearly the same amount as Clinton’s rose—could this be a sign that the current is moving away from hope and towards experience?  For the record, I bet yes.




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