All eyes on Iowa: 2 new polls, "parking lot problems," and an endorsement

We are now less than three weeks from the Iowa caucuses, and the tension is mounting in both parties: Can Clinton and Edwards stop Obama's momentum, can Romney catch up with Huckabee? Two new polls give us some clues and confirm that we have new front-runners:

First up is Research 2000 (whose NH poll this morning had Obama up 1 on Clinton):

  • Barack Obama gets a massive lead, 33% to 24% for both Hillary and Edwards. Richardson is at 9%. Only 23% still say they are likely to change their mind.
  • Mike Huckabee also leads by 9%: 31% to 22%. Everyone else is in single-digits, with Giuliani and Thompson at 9% and McCain and Ron Paul at 7%.
The Diageo/Hotline poll has very different numbers for Democrats:

  • Clinton and Obama are here tied at 27%, with Edwards at 22%.
  • Among the GOP, Huckabee has a bigger lead, 36% to 23%.

Romney has at least stabilized his fall to the mid-20s, which is a good place for him to be since it allows him to come way in front of the rest of the field. And he is not yet totally out of the race: The media is spending its time hitting Huckabee, and Romney has spent months developing a superior organization, which definitely helps in the Iowa caucuses. And as we noted countless number of times before, this could end up playing well for Romney: The expectation for him now is to come in a strong second, and if he does he would probably be able to hold on to his massive New Hampshire lead that has not been undermined at all even with Huckabee’s lead.

Among Democrats, what to say but notice Obama’s huge momentum. Yes, the Hotline poll has Clinton and Obama tied, but the IL Senator clearly has some movement on his side, and passion and momentum are what make winners in Iowa more than anywhere else. Once you reach the caucus place, you can be swept away with the moment.

This is the point made in the TNR by Frank Foer. He calls it Hillary’s “parking lot problem” and explains that this is what sank Gephardt in 2004: Gephardt-backers got out of their cars to go caucus for their candidate and realized the depth of enthusiasm for Edwards and Kerry. Since the caucus is a public vote, it became an act of “extraordinary courage” to vote for Gephardt, which made the candidate once favored to win fall at 11%. While Clinton will probably not end up being such a shameful choice, it does point out to the unique dynamic of Iowa: It’s a public vote, only the motivated vote, so momentum is key.

Clinton got some good news of her own, however: She got the endorsement Rep. Leonard Boswell, the second member of the Iowa congressional delegation to endorse. The only other one to publicly back someone for now has been freshman Bruce Braley who endorsed John Edwards 2 weeks ago. (Senator Harkin’s wife is supporting Hillary, which could give us a vague idea of where Harkin might be leaning). Such endorsements probably don’t move an awful lot of votes, but they can give some very welcome positive buzz.

The big endorsement, of course, will be the Des Moines Register’s, either this Sunday or next Sunday.



  • The Des Moines Register will endorse (sadly) HRC/The Clinton Machine. It is said that people will vote for Her Majesty even when they do not want to. That is the power of the Machine. How sad?

    Support Obama.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 14 December, 2007 14:52  

  • Its hard to see how the Des Moines Register could endorse a candidate who has gone as negative as Senator Clinton in the past few weeks. I believe they will go with a surprise pick, maybe Biden

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 15 December, 2007 02:36  

  • This will be an interesting endorsement indeed. If their recent picks of Bill Bradley and John Edwards are any indication, the Register will choose the farthest-left candidate that they think has a chance of winning the general election. So I don't see them endorsing anyone outside of the Big Three. Of those three, I don't think they'll endorse Clinton because she's worked--not unsuccessfully--to form a more moderate image, and I don't think they will rate Edwards as a candidate who can win (plus their endorsement didn't help him four years ago). That leaves Obama...liberal/progressive enough, and doing well against Republicans in national polls. I'm pretty sure he's their pick.

    By Anonymous Mr. Rational, At 15 December, 2007 04:40  

  • I think the Register is going to back the best candidate that they think can win back the White House :=)

    Did everyone see the Bill Moyers PBS interview with Dr. Ron Walters lastnight on how race is playing out in the campaign? Dr. Walters is the director of the African American Leadership Center at the University of Maryland. He had some very interesting things to say about Senator Obama's campaign strategy. He pointed out that many Afro-Americans just don't feel the connection with Senator Obama nor that he is actually focusing on the major problems which concern them most ie poverty, the fact that 50% of the prison population is black, and the mortgage/foreclosure crisis - which is especially hitting the black community hard.

    In fact Dr. Walters pointed out that Hillary's campaign had a much broader base of diversity than Senator Obamas! And was very focused and in tune with the needs of the black people, which is why the African American Leadership Center decided to support Hillary.

    Even the Mayor of Atlanta, Andrew Young has cautioned that Senator Obama does NOT have enough leadership experience yet. And is also supporting Hillary Clinton in her bid for the White House.


    For me (as a woman who grew up in the Civil Rights era) it was between Hillary and Senator Obama. But to be quite frank, when Oprah invoked Dr. Martin Luther Jr's "Dream Speech" - it just didn't ring true to my ears - Dr. King Jr's DREAM was for ALL children of ALL race and colors to live in harmony as EQUALS. Personally, Oprah seemed to make it into more of a racial issue!

    So after listening to Dr. Walters lastnight and then doing some more research. I'm going to proudly stand up and cast my vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton as the next President of the United States of America.

    YAY I'm so excited :=)

    By Anonymous "America the Beautiful", At 15 December, 2007 08:00  

  • http://reddingnewsreview.com/newspages/2007newspages/

    Maybe this will work:
    newspages/2007newspages/andy_ young_explains_why_he_is_no_07_091000299.htm

    By Anonymous "America the Beautiful", At 15 December, 2007 08:10  

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