Starting today I'm adding Bill Richardson to the Top Democrats charts for both state primaries and the national nomination polling. The graph above shows his substantial movement in Iowa, and New Hampshire looks quite similar. While Richardson is still in fourth place in both states (5th in NH if you include Gore), his is the only trajectory that is clearly moving up. So it seems fitting to start watching it with each new poll.
Richardson's movement is substantially concentrated in Iowa and New Hampshire, so when I include him elsewhere, you might wonder why I'd call him a "Top Democrat." See Florida below for an example.
Here Richardson has edged up just a little bit (to 3.9%!), but certainly not like the move he has made in Iowa or New Hampshire. But that is EXACTLY the point. By seeing what he is doing everywhere, we can track how his movement in the earliest states compares to how he is doing in the rest of the primary and caucus states. If I left him out of the "Top Dems" everywhere except where he is doing well, you'd have no comparison across states.
Likewise, I'm adding him to the national Top Democrats plot for the same reason. As you can see below, his moves in Iowa and New Hampshire are completely invisible in the national polling.
And again, that is exactly the point. When you see his campaign move in early states but not others and not nationally, you see the variation in strength and the possibility of future growth elsewhere. But not if I leave him out of the plots.
For other Democratic candidates, we've not seen a substantial upturn anywhere. Richardson stands alone in that respect at the moment.
Of course, I'll continue to monitor the top candidates and make additions (or perhaps deletions!) as developments warrant.
Cross-posted at Political Arithmetik.