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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The Last Sunday: Ground Games, Ad Wars and Dueling Polls

Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny report on the ground game in their Sunday New York Times article “Candidates Digging for a Deeper Pool of Iowa Voters.” See also Scott Helman’s report “Ground game is key for Democrats,” focusing primarily on the front-runners campaigns in The Boston Globe.
Also in the NYT, Patrick Healy’s piece, “Iowa Saturated by Political Ads” discusses ad spending of the candidates and 527’s and notes that candidates are expected to triple the amount spent in 2004. And Jeff Zeleny also co-authors with David D. Kirkpatrick a round-up of the candidates’ messages on the last weekend before the launch of primary season. See also Todd Beeton’s MyDD post “Romney v. McCain: The New Hampshire Ad Wars.” As this week’s guests on Meet the Press, Huckabee and Obama get the functional equivalent of a huge free ad, a nice edge — if they do well.
A just-released Reuters/C-Span/Zogby poll, conducted 12/26-29, reported by John Whitesides has Clinton with 31, Obama 27 and Edwards with 24 percent of likely caucus goers. Biden and Richardson were at 5 percent, while Dodd and Kucinich had 1 percent. On the GOP side, it’s Huckabee 29, Romney 28 and McCain at 11. Thompson, Giuliani and Paul each got 8 percent. Both parties had 6 percent undecided. Clinton had a big lead in percentage of her supporters who described their support as “very strong” (76 percent), compared to 65 percent for Edwards and 56 percent for Obama. However, Edwards was the most popular “second choice” with 30 percent, compared to 25 percent for Obama and 12 percent for Clinton.
Another poll of likely caucus goers, conducted by the American Research Group 12/26-28, has Clinton at 31 and Obama and Edwards at 24, with the rest of the Dems in single digits, according to Alexander Mooney of CNN’s Political Ticker. But the ARG poll has Romney ahead of Huckabee 32-23 percent, with McCain trailing at 11 percent. Mooney reports on yet another poll, a Quad City Times poll conducted by Research 2000 (released Friday), that has Huckabee 34 percent, Romney 27 and Thompson 11 percent. The Quad City poll has Edwards and Obama tied at at 29 percent, with Clinton at 28 percent.

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