Clinton holds a razor-thin lead in Iowa, according to a new poll.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - She may be dominating the national polls, but when it comes to Iowa, a new poll shows Hillary Clinton in a close fight with her Democratic presidential rivals. A new survey of Hawkeye State Democrats puts the New York senator just two points ahead of rival Barack Obama.
Clinton is at 29 percent in a University of Iowa Hawkeye poll, out Monday, with Sen. Obama, D-Illinois, at 27 percent. The poll's 5.5 percentage point margin of error means Clinton and Obama are in a statistical dead heat.
Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards is in third place with 20 percent. The remaining Democratic presidential candidates are in single digits.
Among Iowa Republicans, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the overwhelming front-runner, at 36 percent. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who’s the GOP front-runner in most national polls, is in second place in the new Iowa survey, at 13 percent. He’s in a virtual tie with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tennessee, is in fourth place at 11 percent, with Arizona Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, at six percent. The Republican survey carries a margin of error of plus or minus 5.8 percentage points.
The University of Iowa Hawkeye poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 17-24. 285 likely Republican caucus-goers and 306 likely Democratic caucus-goers were questioned.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
Sen. Gregg is backing Mitt Romney's presidential bid.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg will endorse Mitt Romney for president Monday, a GOP source familiar with the announcement told CNN.
Gregg's decision to back Romney is a major boost for the Massachusetts governor, who has lost ground in the most recent CNN/WMUR New Hampshire poll but still continues to share the lead with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in this important early voting state.
Gregg is the Granite State's senior U.S. senator, and served as governor before heading to Capitol Hill. While Gregg prefers a low profile, he is considered to be a powerful player on Capitol Hill.
– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Here's a quick look at what's making political news in South Carolina this morning:
Former President Bill Clinton will speak at two "Ready for Change, Ready to Lead" rallies for Hillary Clinton today, one in Spartanburg and one in Rock Hill.
The controversial Gospel singer at the center of a gay and lesbian backlash against Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign struck back at his critics Sunday night, saying that he has been "vilified" and declaring that "God delivered me from homosexuality."
Stephen Colbert sort of campaigned in South Carolina over the weekend, and the John Edwards campaign took issue with his "native son" status.
Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards lead the money race among South Carolina donors.
The Washington Post takes a look at Obama's faith strategy in South Carolina.
The New York Times notes that three reporters were pulled over for speeding between Romney events in Greenville and Columbia last week.
- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - The controversial Gospel singer at the center of a gay and lesbian backlash against Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign struck back at his critics Sunday night, saying that he has been "vilified" and declaring that "God delivered me from homosexuality."
Rev. Donnie McClurkin, who headlined the final installment of the Obama campaign's "Embrace the Change" Gospel concert series, did not comment on the controversy until the just before the concert's finish, when he told the crowd of about 2,500 African-Americans: "I'm going to say something that's going to get me in trouble."
"They accuse me of being anti-gay and a bigot," McClurkin said. "We don't believe in discrimination. We don't believe in hatred, and if you do you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's the whole premise of God. That's the whole premise of Christ is love, love, love. But there is a side of Christ that deals in judgment, and all sin is against God."
McClurkin has said that homosexuality is a choice and that he overcame homosexual desires through prayer, comments that drew fire from gay and lesbian activists and caught the Obama campaign, which has been using faith to reach out to African-American voters, off guard.
The Grammy-winning singer said Sunday his words had been "twisted."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - All eight major Republican presidential candidates will participate in the CNN/YouTube/Republican Party of Florida debate scheduled for November 28 in St. Petersburg, Florida, organizers of the event announced Monday.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, California Rep. Duncan Hunter, Arizona Sen. John McCain, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson have confirmed they will take part in this innovative, live forum that will feature user-generated video questions submitted to YouTube's Web site.
CNN's Anderson Cooper will moderate the two hour debate that will begin at 8 p.m. ET.
CNN and YouTube teamed up with the South Carolina Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee in July for a similar debate held in Charleston.
For the latest, breaking political news, check for updates throughout the day on the CNN Political Ticker http://www.cnn.com/ticker. All politics, all the time.
Making News Today…
Iowa set for January 3 caucuses
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Iowa Republicans and Democrats will have two days to shake off their New Years hangovers before braving the bitter January cold to cast the first votes in the 2008 race for the White House.
The Iowa Democratic Party on Sunday evening formally approved January 3 to hold its caucus, joining Hawkeye State Republicans, who approved the date for their own nominating event earlier this month.
"This date maintains the important common-sense principle of beginning the delegate selection process in the same calendar year as the election for which we are selecting delegates," Scott Brennan, chairman of Iowa Democratic Party, said in a statement. "But the overarching principle is to retain the importance of the caucuses. Holding the caucuses on the same day as the Republican Party of Iowa shows solidarity and unity in working to protect Iowa's First-in-the-Nation status, an important argument in the years to come."
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– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston and CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
Clarify position on torture, senators urge AG nominee
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday he plans to vote against Michael Mukasey's confirmation as U.S. attorney general.
Sen. Chris Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, said he will not support President Bush's nominee because Mukasey said the president can overrule a federal statute when the nation's defense is at risk. "There's no such provision in the Constitution whatsoever," said Dodd, a 2008 presidential candidate.
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Presidential hopefuls’ primary focus
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As New Hampshire’s presidential primary filing deadline approaches, three more presidential candidates trek to Concord Monday to fork over $1,000 and have their names placed on the Granite State ballot.
Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson will all head to New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner's office on the second floor of the State Capitol to make it official.
The deadline to qualify for the Granite State primary is Friday. Gardner, who has the power to determine the Granite State's election date, is expected to announce his much-anticipated decision soon.
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau
FORD: HILLARY CLINTON "TOUGHER AND STRONGER" THAN HER HUSBAND: Former President Gerald Ford suggested to a reporter in 2004 that Vice President Dick Cheney should be dumped from the Republican ticket, according to a new book to be published Tuesday. Ford preferred former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani because he feared Cheney had become a "liability" to President Bush, according to the book's author. CNN.com: Book: Ford feared Cheney was GOP liability, called Clinton sex addict
HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY FAVORS DEMOCRATS: In a reversal from past election cycles, Democratic candidates for president are outpacing Republicans in donations from the health care industry, even as the leading Democrats in the field offer proposals that have caused deep anxiety in some of its sectors. New York Times: Health Sector Puts Its Money on Democrats
SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES CALL HUCKABEE TOO LIBERAL ON TAXES, IMMIGRATION: A bitter fight is taking place behind the scenes over Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. Influential conservatives are clashing over whether Mr. Huckabee is capable of keeping evangelicals from fleeing the GOP to form a third party or if he's too liberal fiscally for the Republican electorate. Washington Times: Huckabee stirs up third-party fear
STUDY SHOWS CLINTON DOMINATES AIRWAVES: Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has dominated news coverage of the 2008 White House race, partly due to negative segments about her on conservative talk radio, according to a new study released on Monday. Reuters: Clinton Dominates Campaign News
LAURA BUSH UPSET OVER DEMS' TACTICS ON SCHIP: First Lady Laura Bush said Sunday that she is much more involved in policy than many people think and then went to bat for her husband on children’s health care and foreign policy. The Hill: Laura Bush accuses Dems of demagoguery on SCHIP
COLBERT WINS OVER MORE THAN A MILLION FACEBOOK FANS: Stephen Colbert's presidential candidacy may be phony, but his supporters are very real. Late on Oct. 16, immediately after the comedian declared his intentions on his satirical news show “The Colbert Report,” supportive groups began to form on the social networking site Facebook. New York Times: The Colbert Nation Quickly Colonizes Facebook
POLLS DON'T REFLECT OBAMA'S CELEBRITY STATUS: Hutton Street, a modest, racially mixed working-class neighborhood on the city's east side, was unprepared for the miniature army that invaded it one recent Saturday morning when Barack Obama decided to pay a call. LA Times: Polls don't reflect Obama's star power
EDWARDS CALLS FOR TWO-YEAR BAN ON ADS FOR NEW DRUGS: Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said Sunday that prescription drug companies should wait two years to begin advertising their new products to consumers. Associated Press: Edwards: 2-year ban on new drug ads
STUDY SHOWS MEDIA FOCUS ON FEW CANDIDATES: When it comes to presidential politics, the news media loves front-runners. And seems to hate them, too. Associated Press: Study: Media narrows field of candidates
OBAMA CAMPAIGN LOOKING FOR RELIGIOUS FERVOR IN S.C.: As a man not only of God but of politics, the Rev. Joe Darby is an outspoken observer of the campaign scene. Reclining in his cluttered office at Morris Brown AME Church here, he witnesses the union between the pulpit and the polls. Washington Post: In S.C., Obama seeks a spiritual reawakening
RON PAUL SUPPORTERS SET THEIR SIGHTS ON SAN FRANCISCO: Stephanie Burns and Ben Parkinson strolled down sun-drenched Fillmore Street with political thievery on their minds. Both are grass-roots volunteers for Republican presidential contender Ron Paul, a Texas congressman whose libertarian views might seem to make him a tough sell in this legendarily left-wing city. LA Times: Is San Francisco Ron Paul territory?
MCCAIN MAY BET EVERYTHING ON NEW HAMPSHIRE: As John McCain gambles on a comeback, his presidential campaign is confronting a key question: Should the candidate place his last few chips on one square or two? Politico: McCain comeback still a gamble
OBAMA TO FILE FOR HOME STATE'S BALLOT: It may seem like a formality, but supporters for Sen. Barack Obama will be up early Monday morning to file petition papers to get him on the ballot for the Feb. 5 primary in Illinois. The Swamp: Obama to file for Illinois ballot Monday morning
2008 HOPEFULS SEEK FORMER RNC CHAIR'S SUPPORT: Just hours after Sen. Mel Martinez (Fla.) stepped down as general chairman of the Republican National Committee, the GOP presidential hopefuls were swarming, hoping to nab the prominent Hispanic Senator’s endorsement. Roll Call: '08 Courtship of Martinez Begins
DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES SKIP FLORIDA CONVENTION: Nearly 3,000 Democrats rallied around their top politicians and party leaders in Florida Saturday, but the biggest impression was made by who wasn't there: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards and other presidential candidates. Associated Press: Fla. Dems rally despite candidates' snub
On the Trail:
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau
* Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards heads to New Hampshire with his family to file papers to participate in the state's presidential primary. Later, he delivers what his campaign is billing as a major address on why he thinks “that the American government is failing to live up to the American people” in Manchester. Edwards follows the speech with a town hall meeting in Exeter, and he then attends a meeting with supporters at the Sports Page in Portsmouth.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani participates in a roundtable discussion about health care in Manchester, New Hampshire and holds a town hall meeting in Londonderry. Later, Giuliani heads to Hartford, Connecticut for an endorsement announcement
* Sen. Barack Obama participates in a presidential dialogue hosted by MySpace and MTV at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Obama then travels to Charlottesville, Virginia to hold a "Countdown to Change" fundraiser with Gov. Tim Kaine.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a rally before filing his primary election papers in New Hampshire. Later, he holds "Ask Mitt Anything" town hall meetings in Manchester and Nashua.
* Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson tours Delta Dental and files his candidacy papers in New Hampshire. Later, Thompson attends the grand opening of his campaign headquarters in Manchester.