Now that Super Tuesday is in the books, I’ll briefly revisit my question from a few days ago, as we have a better idea where the Edwards voters migrated. In a cross-survey analysis of all the Democratic contests on Super Tuesday, Edwards managed to garner 3% of the vote. Certainly, that is one answer–some of his supporters simply chose to vote for him again. The rest, as my earlier post may have hinted at, were not so monolithic.
As we saw in South Carolina, there are at least two camps of Edwards voters, and they behaved that way on Super Tuesday. Nine percent of the cross-survey sample indicated that Edwards was the best choice to serve as “Commander-in-Chief,” and 23% of that 9% did indeed vote for Edwards. However, 44% of the those who felt Edwards would be the best CinC actually voted for Obama, while 29% actually voted for Clinton.
The other relevant cross-survey question here was “which candidate would best unite the party?” Here, 8% of the cross-survey electorate chose Edwards, with 24% of those voting for their man. This issue turned out quite differently than the prior datapoint, however, as 43% of those who felt Edwards would best unite the party actually voted for Clinton, while 29% voted for Obama–exactly the opposite of how the CinC question broke.
If we assume that some overlap of the 9% from the first question and the 8% from the second question form the base of Edwards’ support prior to the suspension of his campaign, we still cannot say for sure which candidate they definitively support nationwide. What this means, of course, is that the Edwards supporters are their own dogs, and they see different issues differently. It will likely actually take Edwards’ endorsement to move the needle one way or the other before the convention.