December 19, 2007

Edwards leads in Iowa (first and second choice)

Via SPR comes word that Edwards and Obama are neck and neck, with Edwards leading overall and Obama leading in most-likely caucus attendees. More importantly, Edwards has a commanding lead as the second choice, which puts him at just over 42% of the total vote if it's limited to just Clinton, Obama and Edwards.

Edwards leads with 30 percent in a poll of Democratic voters who said they intend to participate in the Jan. 3 presidential caucuses, followed by Clinton with 26 percent and Obama with 24 percent. When the sample was narrowed to the most likely caucus-goers, based on several questions, Obama leads Edwards by less than a percentage point with 27 percent, with Clinton in third place at 24 percent.

Edwards holds a significant advantage, however, among a group who could be key to the first contest of the presidential year: those who say their first choice is someone other than the top three. Under Iowa Democratic Party rules, candidates who poll less than 15 percent in the first vote at each caucus around the state are eliminated, and their supporters get a second chance to vote for another candidate.

Under both screens, Edwards leads as the second choice of these voters, with Clinton trailing Obama.

“If Edwards is the second choice at this stage of those who intend to vote for other Democrats, then it would not be surprising if he produced a bit of a shock in Iowa,” said InsiderAdvantage CEO Matt Towery.

Towery said the firm employed the same methodology with regard to asking the second choice of those who were voting for candidates other than those in the top tier, and obtained an accurate picture of John Kerry’s lead.

Posted by mcblogger at December 19, 2007 10:03 AM

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