An interesting Poll of Iowa

Rasmussen Reports has just released an Iowa poll showing Clinton in the lead. I’m sure this won’t get much play in the media however. I don’t normally blog polls but this one is interesting.

Despite all the hoopla and negative campaigning and Oprah, the Democratic race in Iowa remains pretty much the same as its been for the past month–way too close to call. In three straight Rasmussen Reports polls conducted over the past month, each of the leading candidates has seen their level of support stay in a very narrow range–three percentage points or less. Given that the poll has a three-percentage point margin of sampling error, the results are remarkably stable.

Likely Caucus goers

The latest Rasmussen Reports poll of the Iowa Democratic Caucus finds that Hillary Clinton is supported by 29% of Likely Caucus Participants. That’s up two points from two weeks ago and identical to her level of support a month ago. Barack Obama enjoys 26% support in the most recent poll. He was at 25% two weeks ago and 24% a month ago. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone poll finds John Edwards at 22%, down a bit from 24% two weeks ago and from 25% a month ago.

I know everyone will complain about the methodology of polling the Iowa caucus. This is for you…

Different assumptions of who will show up produce slightly different results, but all point to a toss-up at the moment.

– When only voters who are “certain” they will participate are included in the totals, Obama is supported by 27%, Clinton by 26%, and Edwards by 23%.

– Among those who have participated in a caucus before, it’s Edwards 25%, Clinton 25% and Obama 23%.</p>
However, when only those who are certain which candidate they will support are included, it’s Clinton 31%, Obama 25% and Edwards 21%.

So basically, regardless of how you screen voters, the Iowa caucus is a toss up right now. HOWEVER, one interesting thing this poll does bring up is that if the race were held today among people certain who they are going to support and who have caucused before, Clinton wins by 6% over Obama. Even more surprising, though it does make sense, is that Edwards is down at 21% in this demographic.

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