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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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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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