December 3rd, 2007
11:00 AM ET
11 years ago

In Iowa, who's beating whom?

A new poll out of Iowa Monday shows Clinton ahead of Obama. Another poll released Sunday showed Obama over Clinton.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - An AP poll released Monday seems to show Hillary Clinton on top of the Democratic primary field in three critical early-voting states.

The survey, which comes less than two days after a similar Des Moines Register poll showed Illinois Sen. Barack Obama leading the pack in that state by a similar slim margin, highlights the fluid nature of the race in Iowa.

The poll finds the New York senator drawing strong support from crucial Democratic constituencies like women and older voters, who tend to turn out in greater numbers on Election Day than other voters.

Meanwhile, Obama's biggest support - particularly in Iowa - comes from younger and better-educated voters, liberals and Democratic-leaning independents. John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator who is fighting for a share of the lead in Iowa, has yet to lay claim to any major primary voting bloc.

In Iowa, Clinton is essentially tied with Obama, 31 percent to 26 percent, with Edwards at 19 percent and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson at 10 percent. Clinton leads Obama by a larger margin in New Hampshire, 38 to 19 percent, with Edwards at 15 percent and Richardson at 10 percent. In South Carolina, Clinton appears to dominate the field with 45 percent of the vote. Obama is preferred by 31 percent and Edwards10 percent.

But the AP poll also appears to reveal some potential landmines for the New York senator.

While Democrats in all three states overwhelmingly call Clinton the Democrat with the best chance of winning the White House, that honor doesn't carry the weight it did four years ago, when it Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, used it capture the party’s nomination. Fewer than one in four say they would prefer an electable candidate to one with whom they agree on the issues - more than 10 percentage points fewer than last cycle in Iowa and New Hampshire.

More troubling for Clinton, both Obama and Edwards have more support than the New York senator as a second choice in the Hawkeye State – a distinction that could be vital on caucus night when candidates with weak support are eliminated in early voting. In addition, 18 percent of Iowa Democrats entirely rule out voting for her. The only other candidate who approaches that figure is Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, at 12 percent.

Even the best numbers for Hillary may not quite as positive as they appear. CNN Polling Director Keating Holland pointed out that the length of the survey – it was conducted over more than two weeks, from November 7 through 25 – means that impact of Obama’s surge in recent weeks may not be reflected, since those results have been combined with interviews from earlier in the month. “Does this poll reflect how Iowans feel today? Maybe not,” said Holland.

The telephone surveys in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina had margins of error of plus or minus 5.5, 5 and 6 percentage points respectively.

Filed under: Iowa • New Hampshire • Presidential Candidates
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Sophia, Los Angeles

    In South Carolina, Clinton appears to dominate the field with 45 percent of the vote. Obama is preferred by 31 percent and Edwards10 percent.

    That is a 14 point lead, hardly domination.

    I think you guys got New Hampshire and South Caroline wrong in your adjectives. New Hampshire is clearly the larger lead.

    P.S. Polls DONT speak the truth. They only influence the lazy and uneducated.

    December 3, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. Hannah,Des moines,Iowa

    I knew the media will play with people's minds till january 3rd. If you see this just know Obama is ahead. No doubt about that.

    December 3, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Cicilia,nashua,NH

    Landmines? Not asbestos this time around. MMMMMh Clinton News Network is back. She must be threatened by her rivals.

    December 3, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. William, Alexandria, VA

    This is great!!!

    "Meanwhile, Obama's biggest support — particularly in Iowa — comes from younger and better-educated voters, liberals and Democratic-leaning independents."

    So true. I'm telling you–the blind support that people are giving Clinton reminds me of the Bush 2004 run. It's amazing that the American people cry "We want freedom", but continue to support the opposite. How do you continue to elect the same people (Bushs and Clintons) to run your country and then act surprised when things (gridlock) don't change?


    December 3, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. Chip Celina OH

    I remember a while back when she was two points ahead of Obama in Iowa, she was 'crushing' (or some other adjective) him. Now, he's 5 points up and you say "In Iowa, Clinton is essentially tied with Obama, 31 percent to 26 percent,"

    I've said it before, you can't spell Clinton without CNN.

    Have a great day!

    December 3, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. Tom Words

    Interesting choice of image for this post. Every other picture on this page shows the candidate in a normal face, not really happy or really sad. But when something about Hillary that is positive comes up that post a picture with her face beaming and her arms up in the air. This site is doing all that can to help get Clinton elected its ridiculous

    December 3, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. y

    You failed to mention the time line of this poll: Nov.7-25th nearly a 3 week poll time.

    MOE: 5.5%

    December 3, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. suzzy,derry,NH

    Here in Newhempshire, many voters want Obama. One ot the things that they want to restore in American politics is honesty. People feel disconected from their goverment and that is what they look forward to do. They are not getting answeres from Hillary Clinton and all what she want to want is negative campaign and baseless attack which Obama is deflecting by telling like it is. She is seemingly getting desperate and she can do better than that by getting serious and focused with her campaign.

    December 3, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. AJ, IL

    These polls are meaningless in terms of absolute numbers. Everytime poll results are released no information is given on the total number of people polled, which could be 100 to 1000. The polls don't reveal how many repeat pollsters are approached again and again. The demographics of the polls are not revealed. Also, the tendency of people polled to change their opinion on the candidates is not revealed.

    December 3, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. anon, new york, ny

    Hillary has increased her leads in Iowa and New Hampshire! Hurah!

    I told you so. She will endure, survive and win!

    Hillary 08!

    December 3, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. dmw, roeland park, ks

    I can not wait for the Obama supporters to start to complain that CNN is the Clinton News Network like they always do. BORING, yawn. They will find some reason why the AP poll is incorrect and state other polls as proof.

    Hillary will be the nominee. It only takes 1 over your opponent to win, and does not need to be a landslide.

    Hillary has been beaten up by Obama, Edwards, Rove, Hannidity, the news media, etc. and she is still leading because we know that she has supported all of America her entire time in public service. She has REAL, WORKABLE ideas instead of just saying, as Obama does, that he'll give you whatever you want.

    Those of us who follow politics knows that people go back on their promises all the time. Hillary is logical and realistic, and listening to her, one can tell that she has put THOUGHT into her ideas about what it will take to solve America's many problems.

    She is the best candidate.

    December 3, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Dennis Peterson, Seymour, IA

    Polls do not mean anything at this point. Although I am a supporter of Sen. Clinton, polls at this stage are meaningless seeing how most people are undecided or have said they could still change their minds.

    December 3, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  13. John, NY, NY

    Meanwhile, Obama's biggest support — particularly in Iowa — comes from younger and better-educated voters, liberals and Democratic-leaning independents.

    If you cant make a decisions atleast go with the learned.

    December 3, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. EE

    Polls upon polls.Maybe this one will make Clinton to stop from being Silly and stressed against Obama with baseless accusations

    December 3, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. Daniel, NY

    There is actually a SECOND Iowa poll out today that shows Clinton with an even bigger lead than in this poll

    December 3, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. VN, Sugar Land

    Bye, bye Obama! Your endorsement by Karl Rove is surely your kiss of death.

    December 3, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. Matthew, Philadelphia, PA

    No one seems to be mentioning the fact that, while Obama is drawing a lot of support from younger voters, this group is unreliable at best. If 5% of the 18 to 23 year olds who said they were voting for Kerry actually went out and voted, the results would have been a lot different. Factor in the January 3 date of the caucus (lots of college kids on winter break) and I don't see things looking so good for Obama.

    December 3, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. Scott, Royal Oak, MI

    CNN is at it again! The story states that Hillary and Obama are each leading in two respective polls, but the picture shows Hillary with her arms raised in victory.

    December 3, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. AD, seattle, washington

    I just wonder why CNN puts the qualifications to the Iowa poll regarding Hillary. CNN did not put these qualifications in its reporting of an earlier Iowa poll.

    In the earlier poll, which showed Hillary trailing Obama, the poll report qualified that the poll respondents still considered Hillary beat Obama as possessing the most relevant experience, best leadership qualities, worked the hardest in iowa, and most electable.

    Considering that there are so many negative blogs against Hillary in CNN, it wouldn't surprise me that the CNN moderator is an obama/republican supporter who delete many postings from Hillary supporters.

    December 3, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Nita - SA - TX

    A new poll out of Iowa Monday shows Clinton ahead of Obama. Clinton is by far the best candidate. WE support CLINTON.

    December 3, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Hoping for a Better America

    We are hoping for a stronger America. Theres only one person that can do it. Clinton. Face the facts. Obama is nothing more than a puppet. He's scripted and lousy at it.

    December 3, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. Dan, TX

    When was this poll taken? Oh yeah, last month from Nov 7 to 25. This is an old poll!!!! What a joke! Clinton is amazingly good at what she does. How did she manage to get them to not post this information on the front page of this?

    Very poor journalism, indeed.

    The latest polls show very different results from November 7.

    December 3, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. Don, TX

    Correction: The polls don't highlight the fluid nature of the race. They highlight the fluid nature of polls.

    Does the media really think we will be led to believe that there was a 10% shift in two days? Come on now.

    The state polls were taken over the MONTH of November, from the 7th to the 25th. I'd hardly call that an accurate reflection of current trends...

    December 3, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Oliva - San Antonio - Texas

    Clinton will take it! She is by far the best candidate. Watching Obama over and over – reading articles about him show me just one thing. He's not presidential material. Actually I am surprised he got to be elected a senator? Go figure.

    December 3, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. Corey, Bloomington IN

    I'm not sure who dmw has been talking to, but you need 2,182 delegates to win the nomination. So no, she needs more than "1 over your opponent" to win.

    December 3, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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