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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Newsweek Poll: Huckabee Takes Off

A new Princeton Survey Research Associates poll of Iowa for Newsweek is going to get a lot of attention over the weekend. On the Republican side, it shows Mike Huckabee with an astounding 22-point (39-17) lead over Mitt Romney among likely Caucus-goers. The Democratic results are a lot less dramatic, though they confirm the general CW by showing Obama with a modest (35-29) lead over Clinton among likely Caucus-goers, with John Edwards fading a bit at 18%. Since the last Newsweek/Princeton poll was in late September, it doesn’t provide much in the way of trend tracking, though it’s interesting that Romney led Huckabee in the earlier poll 25-6. (Among Democrats in the September poll, HRC led with 31%, over Obama with 25% and Edwards with 21%).
It should be noted that the subsamples of likely caucus-goers in both parties is so small that the margin-of-error for those results is a very high 7%.
Still, the size of the Huckabee lead in this poll is going to create some interesting dynamics. The poll was conducted on December 5 and 6, but probably doesn’t reflect the media-masticated reaction to a couple of serious Huckabee stumbles, or to Romney’s Big Religion Speech. If the next Iowa poll out of the chute shows Romney ahead or very close, expect a lot of hype about the Romney Comeback.

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