Pollsters Drop John Edwards from Head to Head Match-Ups

So, now, Survey USA, which conducts an influential state-by-state poll, has decided that John Edwards is not sufficiently "viable" to be included in their head-to-head match-ups for the general election.

This is in keeping with a major theme of campaign 2008: our media and political establishments narrowing the field before most Americans get to cast a vote.

Nothing new there -- our electoral choices are always limited to a few candidates whom the Beltway establishment finds "palatable" -- who raise a lot of cash from large donors and who won't disturb the status quo. But this cycle, they appear to be doing so with unusual intensity. Why? Because they're terrified -- this is an election in which voters are pissed off, and many appear ready to reject the anointed front-runners in favor of candidates they believe will shake up Washington's business-as-usual ways.

That volatility scares a lot of people who do quite well under the status quo, thank you, and the attacks on candidates like Mike Huckabee -- a heretic for questioning the GOP's unquestioned fealty to Wall Street's investor class -- have been particularly striking. As have been the efforts to narrow the larger political debates, with Fox sidelining Ron Paul and NBC rewriting its own rules in order to uninvite Dennis Kucinich to Tuesday's Dem show-down in Nevada.

John Edwards, with his explicit and sharp critique of the ways in which corporate power distorts our political discourse, is in a special category. Unlike a Paul or Kucinich, Edwards was the VEEP on the Dems' last ticket, and therefore can't be marginalized as easily. But they've tried to marginalize him nonetheless, both by focusing on his haircuts and failing miserably to engage the actual messages of his campaign.

I think this offers as good a picture of what a lot of the Villagers are feeling as any …

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