Tuesday, January 02, 2007

REACTION: Fallon's support is more than just Fairfield

Apparently while I was gone on vacation, some of Iowa's other notable lefty bloggers stopped reading this space. On the 19th I said this about John Edwards:

He's also already more or less locked up the support of people like Ed Fallon, who could potentially bring another large block of voters from the left edge of the undecided pool.
Then, nine days later, Chris Woods, Common Iowan and Iowa Progress saw Fallon at Edwards' event in Des Moines and reported it as breaking news. At the risk of going out of my way to pat myself on the back, I'd just like to make sure you noticed that I told you that more than a full week earlier.

That's not the point of the post, however. While reading Geraldine at Iowa Progress' report, I was struck by this utter downplay of Fallon's significance:

It’s doubtful whether Fallon’s endorsement has any real weight outside of Fairfield and certain precincts of Iowa City but it doesn’t mean his endorsement’s useless.
It's this kind of glaring oversight that gives bloggers as a whole a reputation for overlooking the facts. Fallon received the support of nearly 40,000 voters, including 40+% of Polk County, where 20% of Iowa's votes are cast. He did win Fairfield, but he also won Story County and a smattering of others across the state, including Poweshiek, which Geraldine probably should have noticed, seeing as she lives there.

The fact that Fallon continues to draw attention from candidates and the news media should tell us something: like or dislike him, Ed Fallon is a player in this race. And trying to play him off as only carrying weight in Fairfield and a few precincts in Iowa City (which he lost, by the way) just makes you look stupid.



Chase said...


Ed won Poweshiek County almost exclusively because of the support he received from Grinnell College students, who write IowaProgress. We organized two successful Fallon visits on campus, and many of us even went down to Des Moines to volunteer for him. We haven't forgotten that he got a sizeable percentage of the vote in the primary.

But it remains to be seen whether Fallon's campaign was enough of a cult of personality to make his former supporters follow him to Edwards. My instinct is to question that notion, and so is that of the person who wrote the post you quote. We don't think Ed is completely irrelevant, but the group Fallon drew support from in the 2006 primary are probably the group least likely to support a candidate simply on the basis of personal endorsements, and I don't think that's such a controversial claim to make.

lynn said...

Along with my friend, Kyle, I worked with Ed Fallon during his campaign, and continue to do so.

The students at Grinnell College were amazing and did terrific work for the Fallon campaign -- thanks again!

However, I would hope that Ed does NOT have a cult personality that is what would engender support for Edwards. What I would hope is that the people who voted for Ed would be interested to know why he was leaning in Edwards direction.

The reason Ed ran for governor was because he believed it would give him a position to work from that would allow for the most good to be done as it related to important issues, i.e. campaign finance reform, universal healthcare, responsible land use planning, local control, etc.

I believe the reason he is interested in Edwards is because he is espousing many of the same issues Ed did in his gubernatorial campaign. Also, he does not take money from federal lobbyists or special interests.

The players have changed (from local to national) but some things don't. Ed Fallon will always be concerned primarily about the issues that affect the majority of everyday Iowans. And at this juncture, John Edwards seems to be the candidate most willing to take on some of those same issues.