It’s been more than a week now since John and Elizabeth Edwards announced that her cancer had returned. Media coverage of the Edwards team was widely positive throughout the week, and the Edwards campaign has experienced a bump in the polls, both in the state polling as well as nationally.
In national surveys of democratic voters, Edwards is now polling with higher numbers almost across the board. In a Time Magazine poll, Edwards jumped from 10 percent in mid-March to 16 percent in a poll taken two weeks later. In an early March USA Today / Gallup survey, Edwards notched only 9 percent, increasing to 14 percent in a poll ending just over a week ago.
Edwards is also finding his numbers on the rise in several state polls (for a discussion of his uptick in Iowa, see the March 26, 2007 Smart Politics entry). Edwards has jumped from 16 percent in early February to 21 percent in early April in CNN / WMUR’s poll of likely New Hampshire primary voters. In SurveyUSA’s poll of likely democratic California primary voters, Edward’s support bounced from 10 percent in early March to 17 percent in early April.
The net result of the Elizabeth Edwards media blitz was therefore a noticeable uptick of about 5 to 6 points—enough to give the campaign some momentum in a news cycle that soon turned to quarterly fund raising numbers (in which Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, and Barack Obama stole the show).