P2008: New Poll Shows Edwards, Obama & Clinton Tied in Iowa
Six months out from the Iowa caucuses, the Democratic presidential race there is shaping up to be a nail-biter, even as national polls show front runner Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) consolidating her substantial lead. Released today by the Washington Post, the poll shows Clinton virtually tied with Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC):
Among the others only Gov. Bill Ricardson (D-NM) breaks into double digits at 10%, with everybody else at 2% or less.
The Iowa caucuses have tended to influence the subsequent New Hampshire primary, and such early contests have dramatically swung national polls and subsequent primaries in past presidential cycles. Such a scenario in 2008 is clearly the best hope for the candidates pursuing Clinton, especially Edwards (who has generally polled in third place).
The internals of the new Iowa poll are fascinating. Among the half of likely caucus goers who are looking primarily for new ideas and a new direction, Obama leads at 37% over Edwards at 30% and Clinton at 14%, and among voters under 45 years of age Obama also has a big lead (39% compared to 24% for Clinton and 22% for Edwards). However, among the 37% of likely caucus goers who are looking primarily for strength and experience, Clinton has a big advantage at 38% over Edwards at 21% and Obama and Richardson at 14%. Among voters over 45, Clinton is tied with Edwards at 28%. Older voters historically have made up a much larger proportion of caucus attendees (and of voters).
Only 14% of likely caucus goers regard Clinton as the most likeable or as the most honest and trustworthy. Interestingly, however, 35% rated her the most electable among the Democrats, with Obama and Edwards in the low 20s.