Dec 27, 2007

Iowa: Clinton Moves Ahead Huckabee Lead Narrows

The latest poll of likely participants in the Iowa caucus, now only just over a week away, shows that on the Democrat side Hillary Clinton was supported by 34 percent of the people surveyed followed by John Edwards with 20 percent and Barack Obama with 19 percent. The poll was taken Dec. 20-23. In a poll taken Dec. 16-19 by the same group, Clinton led with 29 percent to 25 percent for Obama and 18 percent for Edwards. Other polls out before Christmas had Obama nearly neck and neck with Hillary.

In the Republican race Huckabee's lead narrowed slightly. In the latest poll, he was supported by 23 percent of those questioned to 21 percent for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, 17 percent for Senator John McCain of Arizona and 14 percent for former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The earlier survey showed Huckabee with 28 percent support, followed by McCain at 20 percent and Romney at 17 percent.

As we reported a couple of days ago Giuliani is now campaigning actively in Iowa having planned originally not to. Likewise John McCain has put in a surprise appearance. A good summary of what is going on appeared a few minutes ago in this LA Times blog.

Meanwhile Huckabee went hunting yesterday and shot a pheasant. He also gave an interesting statement on conservation declaring that hunting is good for wildlife. "The truth is hunters are the ones who preserve the species," he said, since hunters have an interest in preserving wildlife and their license fees pay for conservation efforts. "In many cases extinction comes from not having some level of hunting. It's the hunters who actually keep the wildlife alive. A lot of people think that when you hunt you're destroying the wildlife."

What is The Hive's view on all this? We still think Hillary is sitting pretty for the overall nomination for the Democrats. If this latest poll is acurate, Obama has a big problem. We have not written off McCain on the other side. Yes, he is probably too old, but he seems to have the best team supporting him. Age seems a less serious flaw than the negatives associated with the rest of the field.