Whoops! Martin O'Malley Really Does Matter

For months, I've written off Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley. I mean, haven't we all? The guy has never polled above 10 percent nationally, putting him firmly in political footnote status.

But! With the race in Iowa tightening between Clinton and Sanders, O'Malley is seeing a bit of a relevancy resurgence. Because of how the Iowa Democratic Party’s caucuses work, his supporters must throw in their lot with another candidate if he doesn’t pull more than 15 percent in a given precinct. In a close race, they could make all the difference.

But where would O’Malley’s supporters go? Before now, we’ve had to make guesses using favorability numbers, which showed a slight preference for Sanders among O’Malley voters. But a hot-off-the-presses survey form Public Policy Polling appears to be the first to directly ask his supporters whom they’d pick if the former governor didn't make the cut.

Drumroll: It’s Sanders, by a 57-27 margin over Clinton. That’s pulled from a small sample, so the margin of error is huge, but it’s still a pretty strong indication.

Whether it’ll be enough to put Sanders over the edge is another question. Fifty-seven percent sounds like a lot, but 57 percent of 7 percent—O’Malley’s current poll ranking—isn’t much at all...