Thursday, December 6, 2007

Latest Iowa Polling: too close to call

From Rasmussen:

The latest Rasmussen Reports poll of the Iowa Democratic Caucus for 2008 finds Hillary Clinton at 27%, Barack Obama at 25%, and John Edwards at 24%. Bill Richardson is the only other Democrat in double-digits at 10% while Joe Biden earns 4% of the vote from Likely Caucus Participants.

These results reflect little change from a Rasmussen Reports survey conducted earlier in the month. In the previous survey Clinton had 29% support with Edwards at 25% and Obama at 24%. While the race in Iowa remains very close, Clinton retains a solid lead in the national polls and double digit leads in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida. Many believe that those figures may change based upon what ultimately happens on January 3 in Iowa.

Currently, in Iowa, Clinton attracts 30% of the vote from women while Obama earns 26% and Edwards 22%. Among men, it’s Edwards 26%, Clinton 24%, and Obama 23% (see crosstabs).

In terms of second-choices in Iowa, John Edwards tops the list of candidates. He is the second choice for 28% of likely caucus participants. Obama is the second choice for 18%, Clinton for 16%, and Richardson for 15%. Second choice preferences are especially important given the nature of the Iowa caucuses. In a particular caucus setting, if a candidate receives less than 15% of the vote, their supporters will be re-allocated to other candidates.

There are many challenges to polling a caucus, primarily around the question of who will actually participate. Those challenges are magnified this year by the timing of the caucus on January 3 forcing candidates and their teams to explore tactful methods of contacting voters during the holiday season.

When only voters who are “certain” they will participate in the caucus are included in the totals, Obama is supported by 26%, Edwards by 25% and Clinton by 23%.

However, when only those who are certain which candidate they will support are included, it’s Clinton 27%, Obama 25% and Edwards 22%.

Among those who have participated in a caucus before, it’s Edwards 25%, Clinton 24% and Obama 22%.

Collectively, these results show that the caucuses remain a three-way race and no candidate has a measurable advantage at this time.

Just 8% of Likely Caucus Participants say that there is a good chance they will change their mind between now and January 3. That figure includes 10% of Edwards’ supporters, 7% of those for Obama, and 5% for Clinton.

Overall, 68% of both Clinton supporters and Obama supporters say they are certain they will vote for their candidate. Earlier in the month, 57% of Clinton supporters were certain of their support along with just 45% of Obama supporters. Sixty-three percent (63%) of Edwards supporters currently say they are certain to vote for him. That’s up from 52% earlier in the month.

Thirty-six percent (36%) of Likely Caucus Participants think that Clinton is likely to win the caucuses. An identical number think that Obama is likely to win. Nineteen percent (19%) say Edwards is the likely winner, 3% name somebody else, and 5% are not sure.

Rest of poll is here.



Obama Holds His Largest Lead Ever in Iowa Poll
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 12:03:11 PM EST

Republican pollster Strategic Vision is out with new numbers from Iowa that seem to gibe with the general trends from both the Democratic and Republican primaries, with both Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee leading their respective party's field in the first early nominating state. Take a look at the latest survey of 600 likely Democratic caucus goers (11/30-12/2, MoE +/- 4.5%), along with the average out of the state (which includes this SV poll).

Candidate 12/2 (11/25) Pollster
Obama 32 (29) 26.4
Clinton 25 (29) 27.9
Edwards 25 (23) 21.8
Biden 5 (4) 4.6
Richardson 3 (6) 8.3
Dodd 1 (1) 1.0
Kucinich 1 (1) 1.2
Undecided 8 (7) N/A

These moves from two weeks ago are all within the margin of error for the poll, as is Obama's lead, so as is almost always the case with these things, one need remember not to place excessive attention on the results of a single poll. That said, looking at the trend of all polling out of Iowa, one cannot help but come away with the sentiment that Obama is on a steady rise in the state while Clinton is nearing or has already hit her peak in the state.

The other key take away from these numbers is that Bill Richardson seems to be hemorrhaging support in Iowa while Biden may be picking up a bit of support here and there. If you had asked me even a month ago what one of the most important yet insufficiently discussed aspects of the campaign in Iowa was I would have said (a) whether Richardson's 10-12 support statewide would be spread in such a way that he would be viable in a good number of caucus locations; and (b) where his support would go in those locations where he did not meet the 15 percent threshold for viability. Yet if Richardson is really down in towards 3 percent support -- four of the past five polls from the state show he's pulling in single-digit support in the state after having consistently polled in the low double-digits or high single-digits since May -- where his support goes becomes a lot less important of a question.

This has definitely gotten interesting.

1 comment:

Spencer said...

The race is certainly closing, in Iowa and elsewhere. One question is whether there is a "Bradley gap"--the gap between how many people say they will vote for and African American candidate and how many actually do (Tom Bradley and Doug Wilder were subject to this phenomenon--their poll numbers were much higher than their actual votes). With Harold Ford's Senate race, however, there was not much of a gap between his polls and his final results. Another wild card here in Iowa is the "second choice" provision for people who are not viable.