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Edwards Edges Clinton in Volatile Iowa Polling

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For the first time in the five polls conducted monthly by American Research Group (ARG) since December 2006, John Edwards is now polling ahead of Hillary Clinton among likely Democratic caucus voters in Iowa.

Edwards received 27 percent of support in the poll, conducted April 27-30, with Clinton coming in at 23 percent. Clinton dropped 11 points since a mid-March ARG poll; Edwards, meanwhile dropped 6 points from his 33 percent level of support in March. More Iowans are now undecided about which candidate they support (16 percent) than in any of the previous ARG polls, including twice as many undecided likely voters as compared to 5 months ago (just 8 percent in December 2006).

Senator Clinton held double digit leads over Edwards in December (11 points) and late January (17 points), but Edwards has since closed the gap: down 4 points in February, 1 point in March, and now up 4 points in the new survey.

Iowa is considered to be a must-win state for Edwards. The former Senator has campaigned heavily in the Hawkeye State since the 2004 election, and will need the momentum (and the positive press coverage that accompanies such a victory) to compete with the well-funded Clinton (and once buzz-worthy Barack Obama) heading into New Hampshire and the big multi-state primary days that take place a few weeks later.

Obama came in third in the new ARG poll at 19 percent. The two candidates who enjoyed the biggest surge of support, however, were in the "second tier" of candidates. Joe Biden received the support of 6 percent of likely Democratic caucus voters, after polling at just 2 percent in each of the previous four ARG surveys. Bill Richardson likewise polled in fifth place at 5 percent, after receiving just 1 percent in the four previous polls.

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Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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