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Iowa Democratic Caucus Time Capsule: 2004

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With Barack Obama tied or in the lead outright in three of the last four public polls in Iowa, the political beat is buzzing how Hillary Clinton, who had led in every Hawkeye State poll from late August to late November, has lost her momentum to the junior Senator from Illinois.

With just two weeks until the caucuses on January 3rd, Smart Politics takes a look back at the Democratic caucus polling conducted two weeks prior to the January 19th caucuses back in 2004.

A SurveyUSA poll conducted January 5-7, 2004 still showed Howard Dean in the lead—with a 29-22 lead over Richard Gephardt. John Kerry was in 3rd (21 percent), followed by John Edwards (17 percent).

Gephardt and Dean, the two leading candidates in Iowa throughout 2003, both went on the attack in the waning weeks before Caucus Day. The end result was a belated holiday gift to Kerry and Edwards, who went on to finish 1-2 in the caucuses.

In the 2008 campaign, Obama and Clinton haven't quite gone negative yet—although Clinton's high-profile surrogates (including her husband Bill) seem to be dropping the seeds of attacks to come (e.g. suggesting Obama is a coin-flip, and is not quite ready for primetime).

There is no doubt Edwards is salivating over a potential all-out war between the two frontrunners. This might be Edwards' best (and last) shot to pull out an 11th hour victory to save his campaign.

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