As far as the horse race aspects of the straw poll were concerned, Barack Obama won with 29 percent of the vote, edging out John Edwards who was at 26, Hillary Clinton at 17, Bill Richardson at 9, and Al Gore with a strong 8 percent showing as a write in. If you combine the first and second choices, Obama is at 60, Edwards at 53, and Hillary at 33. The poll had 727 respondents, with 83 percent identifying themselves as progressive/liberal. All the normal caveats apply in a straw poll such as this, but you can either say that it’s incremental evidence that the progressive base of the party is gathering behind Obama/Edwards, or consider it a decent showing for Hillary with this wing of the party, and the things she would need to do to make a stronger showing in a crowd like this could hurt her general election strategy. Another interesting thing to note is that in the absence of Edwards, most Edwards supporters defect to Obama, and vice versa. It’s clearly in Hillary’s best interest to have both of them stay in as long as possible to split those voters. If one of them drops out early (more likely Edwards), that would give the other oppourtunity to consolidate the anti-Hillary vote. As I’ve written before, Hillary has universal name recognition among Democrats, and yet she typically polls nationally in the mid-30s, meaning that nearly two-thirds of the party knows who she is and would prefer somebody else. This indicates to me that there is still an opening for another candidate, and despite the conventional wisdom, this primary race is far from over.