Check In on the Iowa Polling: Huckabee Up, Edwards Down

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With both Iowa caucuses (the Republican and the Democratic) now firmly entrenched on January 3rd, let’s take a look at some poll numbers.

According to a University of Iowa Hawkeye Poll, Mike Huckabee is a legitimate top-tier candidate in Iowa. He is now in third place (actually a statistical tie for second) with 12.8 percent. Rudy Giuliani has 13.1 percent, and the frontrunner, Mitt Romney aka Mr. Fantastic, has 36.2 percent. Romney has similarly huge leads in all the early states. Worth noting: (1) In August, Huckabee polled at two percent in the same poll. (2) Huckabee has spent $1.7 million on his campaign while Mr. Fantastic has spent $53.6 million, an object lesson in the limited power of money in politics. Who knew?

On the Democratic side, John Edwards has slipped a bit. His 20 percent support in Iowa represents a six point drop since August. Hillary Clinton tops the field with 28.9 percent and Obama places second with 26.6 percent. It’s too bad John Edwards doesn’t have this hilarious/awesome South Carolina mojo going for him in Iowa. I think that would win over a lot of caucus-goers.

Update: Here’s an even more remarkable fact, considering the money disparity between Huckabee and Romney: Huckabee is actually beating Romney, though just barely, in a national Rasmussen poll. Maybe the Log Cabin Republicans are more effective that we know.

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

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