from the CourageCampaign
Barack Obama or John Edwards?
As California's February 5 primary approaches, grassroots and netroots activists in California are passionately debating which presidential candidate deserves their vote.
According to the most recent results of the Courage Campaign's ongoing poll of progressives in California, Senator Obama and Senator Edwards are the two most popular candidates.
Obama and Edwards are in a hot race for the top spot, with Senator Hillary Clinton and Congressman Dennis Kunicich trailing closely behind the top two candidates. The lead has already changed a few times and it's bound to change again.
With Californians already making up their minds and filling out their vote-by-mail ballots before February 5, progressives are making their collective voices heard at PickYourPresident.org. You can make sure your favorite candidate wins by voting and spreading the word.
As you vote at "Pick Your President," five of our progressive non-partisan partner organizations are surveying their supporters as well in Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin (polling both Democratic and Republican candidates).
The current national results are just as intriguing as the California rankings. This network of statewide organizations has been polling their progressive memberships for the last four days and will continue to so through this Friday -- the day before the Nevada Caucuses.
According to the current Pick Your President results, progressives across America are having a hard time choosing between the candidates, especially Barack Obama and John Edwards. Now it's up to you to get out the vote.
If you support a specific candidate -- and feel strongly about that candidate -- it's time to forward this message to your friends, family and neighbors and urge them to vote. Today.
Time is running out. You can help your favorite candidate build momentum for their campaign immediately by spreading the word about this unique online poll of progressives in California and across the country.
This Friday, January 18, the Courage Campaign will announce the winner of this special poll of California progressives.
Until then, you can track your candidate's progress by refreshing the "Results" page often. The standings are updated frequently.
Thank you for getting out the word and getting out the vote.
Chair, Courage Campaign
Courage Campaign is an independent political committee and online organizing network empowering grassroots and netroots activists to build a progressive California. In 2008, the Courage Campaign will catalyze action to help Californians elect a progressive President, hold our elected officials accountable, and block Blackwater from building a base on our border.
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On this past Friday's Bill Moyers' Journal, Bill Moyers and Kathleen Hall Jamieson discussed how the mainstream media is discussing everything except the issues in their primary coverage:
BILL MOYERS: As you are talking, I'm thinking that just a couple of days ago the U.S. dropped 40,000 pounds of bombs on a suburb of Baghdad we don't know anything about the casualties. The Pentagon is hinting that it's going to send another 3,000 to 4,000 troops to Afghanistan where 27,000 troops are now bogged down in a war that's not going well. Atlanta and the Southeast are running out of water. A huge public hospital in Atlanta has gone under. Two million Americans may be losing their homes in the next few months because of the subprime mortgage crisis. And yet these are not being talked about in the campaign.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Well, and what I think is a concern is in places that we could talk about them, we're not talking about them well. Look at the exchange between Governor Romney and Governor Huckabee in the debate in which Governor Huckabee is essentially being challenged by Governor Romney about in net raising taxes over a ten-plus-year period.
MR. ROMNEY: Now, I asked you a question to begin with. And that was, net-net, did you raise taxes in your state by half a billion dollars?
MR. HUCKABEE: We raised jobs, we rebuilt our roads.
MR. ROMNEY: You know, that's political speak.
MR. HUCKABEE: You know, Mitt -
MR. ROMNEY: The question is -- you can avoid this issue by just saying --
MR. HUCKABEE: -- you spent tens of millions of dollars sayings all negative things about me. If someone raises a question, you say it's a personal attack. In fact…
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Governor Huckabee is not acknowledging the tax increase. And I wish he would simply say, "Yes, I did in net. And here's what I did with it." But what he says instead is, "I built roads. Essentially I invested in infrastructure. I dealt with schools." If there's a penalty for the candidates who raise taxes in order to build infrastructure and the country's facing a situation in which we've neglected our infrastructure for 40 years. We had a cryptosporidium outbreak in one of our cities because-
BILL MOYERS: A what?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Cryptosporidium.
BILL MOYERS: Oh, yes.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: You drink water, you become ill. Outbreak, particularly if your immune system is vulnerable. We have an infrastructure problem that we are postponing and postponing. A bridge collapsed in Minneapolis. And now Governor Huckabee, as governor, did, in my judgment, was the correct thing to do. He invested in infrastructure and the campaign structure is set to penalize him because, you know, he raised some taxes in order to do that.
BILL MOYERS: All right. The campaign changes every day. We'll be back to talk about it. What are you looking for next week?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: What I'm watching for next week is whether the substance of the candidates' positions will get through in news and in the debates. Will you be able to say before the next time that there is a vote or a primary, "I can tell you that this is how Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards differ and are similar on healthcare"? "I can tell you where the Democratic field differs from the Republican field on whether or not the Bush tax cuts should remain permanent." Where they stand in the Republican side on a pass to citizenship on immigration. Whether or not the candidates on each side have taken positions on the Iraq War and who supports a timetable, what is it, and what are its implications? Who supported the surge strategy first? And who now supports it?
If this next week is a good week for the electorate, more people will be able to answer those questions accurately and, as a result, cast an informed vote. And for those of us who can't vote next week, be on our way to casting ultimately an informed vote between the Democratic and Republican nominee.
BILL MOYERS: But if the press doesn't tell us that substance what does it say that our-- that as a democracy we allow our politics to be determined by bought ads and by a professional media whose interest is more often in personalities and bottom line than in the content of the candidates? I mean, our campaign seems designed to conceal rather than reveal the real world.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Well, and in moments that could be revealing, we don't seem to find a way to create mass access for the moment of revelation.
BILL MOYERS: Example.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Well, for example, I mean, take any of the exchanges in these days that help explain why Hillary Clinton and John McCain did so well, in which they engaged voters about real issue substance. Take those moments in which Senator Edwards talks about the patients' bill of rights and the dispute about what should and should not have been in it. It's a legitimate dispute.
There's a case to be made that some forms of lawsuits are bad and some forms of lawsuits are good. But let's hear the argument. And instead, we're engaging the politics at a high level of abstraction in which people are going to take on the special interests. But we're not exactly sure what that means. We're not exactly sure what they're going to be doing. And for practical purposes, everybody can fill in whatever that means to them. It's not actually a set of policy proposals. It's a kind of indictment of a certain form of status quo.
BILL MOYERS: But you notice that so often the mainstream press disparaged John Edwards for his anti-corporate-- anti-big money rhetoric. They dismissed him because of that.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: The interesting thing to me about the Edwards candidacy is that he's making an argument that is consistent in some important ways with the argument made by Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, and interestingly enough, Mike Huckabee, who takes on corporate greed. That doesn't seem to be a message that resonates very well when it moves into sound bites. And I'm somewhat bewildered about why not. And also, by the way, speaking of the Edwards candidacy, right now going into South Carolina, his home state where he's won a primary and has the endorsement of the steel workers in the state, he's being written off essentially as the third place candidate who basically can't survive beyond that. How, in fairness to his candidacy, can the media dismiss him when he may have at least some possibility of winning South Carolina? A possibility diminished greatly if you continue to talk about the fact that he can't win it.
So his message can't get through if he's in third. He got virtually no coverage on this last election night so his message couldn't get through there. And as a result, people aren't able to hear that message. And he's further disadvantaged because he's raised less money. And so if you want to ask, "How do you ensure that a message isn't able to get through?" put it in the voice of a candidate who carries, in the perspective of the media, no chance to be elected president.
BILL MOYERS: The campaign moves now from retail politics that you like in Iowa and New Hampshire 'cause the candidates can get close to the voters to big-- the wholesales you know in 20 states at one time. What changes?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: The candidates who didn't have money had a chance in Iowa and New Hampshire. Notice what happens with Governor Huckabee in Iowa. You know, notice. You know, Senator Edwards is outspent and yet does well in Iowa. Notice that Senator McCain, outspent, does well in New Hampshire. You can do that when you have retail politics, when you're not contesting in many states simultaneously. You still do have retail politics able to happen in South Carolina and to some extent also able to happen in Michigan. More difficult in Michigan 'cause it's just a more difficult state to get around in. But once you begin to hit those times in which you've got large blocks of state, now money starts to matter.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: And a disparity in resources potentially takes a candidate now, takes a candidate out of the race who might otherwise have survived had we still been able to see them in a retail environment which doesn't privilege money as strongly.
Air America's Randi Rhodes discusses the temporary insanity that is infecting the Clinton and Obama campaigns. The media is overjoyed to watch behavior comparable to Britney Spears and is covering it in the same manner.