Dead Heats In Iowa With An Edwards And Huckabee Twist
A pair of new Iowa polls show the frontrunners in dead heats in both races, although one of the surveys indicates that John Edwards is gaining momentum on the Democratic side and Mike Huckabee is losing some in the Republican contest.
A Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll, conducted Dec. 26-29, has Hillary Clinton at 31 percent, Barack Obama at 27 percent and John Edwards at 24 percent, with all the rest at 5 percent or less. The margin of error is 3 percent. Under Democratic rules, supporters of candidates who don’t meet the “viability” threshold can move on to support candidates who do. Measured for that outcome, Clinton polls 35.8 percent, Obama 33.4 percent, and Edwards 30.8 percent.
On the Republican side, where the margin of error is 3.4 percent, Huckabee and Mitt Romney are locked at 29 percent and 28 percent respectively, with John McCain at 11 percent and all others in single digits. The Republican caucus is a straight straw poll vote. *See the previous Zogby Poll.*
While a new McClatchy-NBC poll also shows statistical ties for the lead on both sides, it says that Edwards has clawed his way into contention with Clinton and Obama. This movement that was also reflected in a poll released Friday by Lee Enterprises newspapers. Edwards polled 24 percent to Clinton’s 23 percent and Obama’s 22 percent. Bill Richardson was the only other Democrat in double digits, with 12 percent. If supporters of non-viable candidates switch to those in the top tier, Edwards gains the most, rolling up a clear lead at 33 percent to 26 percent each for Clinton and Obama.
Among Republicans, Romney leads with 27 percent to Huckabee’s 23 percent, a drop of eight points for the former Arkansas governor since the last McClatchy-MSNBC survey in early December. Thompson has 14 percent, McCain has 13 percent and all the rest are in single digits. One in three Republican voters said they could still change their minds. The margin of error was 5 percent.
The pollsters said that the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto did not raise the profile of terrorism as an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign in Iowa,