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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

New Iowa Poll

Speaking of Iowa, there’s new data on the current preferences of those almighty likely Caucus-goers. It’s the latest installment (and the first since May) of the Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll, which has a large impact because the results are so often referred to in the Register‘s much-followed campaign coverage.
Among Democrats, the major news was another confirmation that Hillary Clinton’s in the lead (contradicting the recent Newsweek poll of Iowa showing Obama in the lead). More important than the numbers (Clinton 29, Edwards 23, Obama 22, Richardson 8, Biden 5) is the finding that HRC is supported by nearly half of those (one-third of the total) who say they’ve definitely made up their minds. The poll could also pour a bit of cold water on the Richardson campaign; the Guv was at 10 percent in the Iowa Poll back in May.
On the Republican side, the poll shows the two candidates who dissed Iowa by skipping the August State Republican Straw Poll slipping into fourth and fifth place, with Rudy Guiliani falling from 17 percent to 11 percent since May, and John McCain diving from 18 percent to 7 percent. The major beneficiaries of that lost support appear to be Mike Huckabee, now in third place with 12 percent, and Fred Thompson (not a candidate back in May), who’s now at 18 percent, trailing front-runner Mitt Romney (29 percent, down 1 from May). Fred’s robust support levels are somewhat surprising; he’s only been in the state once since his touring-the-State-Fair-in-a-golf-cart fiasco in August. But that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily got the kind of organization that could convert that support into Caucus results. Once again, Iowa Exceptionalism is on display in this poll, which provides no evidence of the Rudy boom or the McCain revival that national polls have shown.

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