Sunday, October 7, 2007

Edwards Ties His Slip in Iowa Polls to "Nuanced Differences."

In an article entitled "Clinton Takes Lead for Democrats," the Des Moines Register reports that Hillary Clinton is six points ahead of John Edwards in the latest poll of Iowa caucus-goers:

Hillary Clinton has climbed into first place in a new Des Moines Register poll of Iowans expected to participate in the state's Democratic presidential caucuses, with John Edwards and Barack Obama both in striking distance.

The Iowa Poll shows 29 percent of likely caucusgoers preferring Clinton, a New York senator, an improvement from the Register's most recent poll in May.

Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, was the choice of 23 percent in the new poll, slipping from the top spot since the May survey to nearly even with Obama.

Obama, an Illinois senator, was at 22 percent , virtually unchanged from May.  Des Moines Register

Edwards has responded with a surprising spate of semantic nonsense, saying,

"The nuanced differences between where she is, where I am and Sen. Obama are is very small."

Do we really need a phrase like "nuanced differences" to describe the six point difference between Clinton and Edwards in this poll, or has Edwards resorted to semantic bird droppings in an effort to fudge his reduced standing with voters? Edwards is flummoxed.  Aside from the fact that the noun ("nuanced differences") and the verb ("is") in this sentence don't agree, we usually use the phrase "nuanced differences" to describe complexities far more subtle than the difference between the numbers "29%" and "23%."  For example,

The author cites his book "The Book of Wellness: A Secular Approach to Spirituality, Meaning and Purpose," and says that who ever has read even few essays of his book, would agree that meaning and purpose are complementary but with nuanced differences. According to the author, in a wellness context, meaning is an outcome or consequence; purpose is a goal or organizing concept. Reading Level (Lexile): 850;  Britannica.Com

The difference between 29% and 23% is quite a large "nuance," but then John Edwards is a very successful trial lawyer, so perhaps we should expect him to begin to wax semantic when the facts don't support his theories.

Edwards also said, "If somebody's up two points or down one point, that could be literally nothing except noise."  Actually, in this poll Clinton appears to be up by three times more than the "two points" that Edwards acknowledges here.  Quad City Times

Considering that Edwards admits that his only chance at the presidency is to win in Iowa, it's clear that he is simply flummoxed by his drop in the polls there.  The Des Moines Register reports,

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said Sunday his slip from the top spot in the Des Moines Register's latest poll can be attributed to his competitors' emphasis on T.V. advertising.

"It's a little difficult to figure out where to go with me because I haven't spent any money on ads," said Edwards, a former North Carolina senator.  DMRegister.Com

If the relative lack of television ads can really drive the poll numbers, then Edwards can expect to be trounced in Iowa and elsewhere, since Edwards has about one third the money for ads that Clinton and Obama have.

Iowans are known as plain-talking people.  They might be turned off by Edwards' "nuanced differences" as well as his excuses.

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