Poll: Progressives Favor Obama

Politico.com just announced the results of the presidential straw poll of Take Back America attendees. The percentages are:

Obama 29
Edwards 26
Clinton 17
Richardson 9
Gore (write-in) 8
Kucinich 5
Biden 1
Dodd 1
Gravel 1

Isaiah J. Poole writes:

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama won a presidential straw poll on Wednesday sponsored by Politico.com and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner at Take Back America.

Former Sen. John Edwards came in a close second. New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton came in third.

What the poll established is that Obama, Edwards and Clinton form a clear first tier of presidential candidates among progressives, pollster Stan Greenberg said. But unlike many national polls that show Clinton in the lead, people polled at the Take Back America conference showed a strong and interchangeable preference for Obama and Edwards.

The poll allowed participants to make a first and a second choice for who they would vote. Obama was the first choice of 29 percent of the poll participants; 26 percent chose Edwards. As a second choice, Obama won the support of 30 percent of the poll participants, and Edwards won 28 percent.

The poll is obviously good news for Obama, who appeared at Take Back America conferences for two years in a row and gave rousing, well-received speeches both times. Obama polled particularly well among young adults, 40 percent of whom made him their first choice.

It is just as obviously not so good news for Clinton, who also appeared at the conference for the second consecutive year and saw her speeches both times overshadowed by catcalls from antiwar protesters.

Not only were people who were most concerned about Iraq less inclined to support Clinton than they were Obama or Edwards, but she did particularly poorly among men; only 12 percent supported her over the other candidates.

The war in Iraq was either the first or second most important issue of 50 percent of the 727 people who took the poll, followed by health care, energy and global warming, and the economy and jobs.

Politico.com is the website of The Politico, a new newspaper that covers inside-the-Beltway politics. John Harris, the editor of the publication, said that the poll and the Take Back America conference heralded a sea change in liberal politics from when he began covering politics two decades ago, when Democrats and progressives were politically battered and adrift.

Now, he said, “some of the most interesting conversations are taking place in the Democatic party and in this particular wing of the Democratic party.”


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