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POLL: ABC/Post Dem Iowa Caucus


A new ABC News/Washington Post statewide survey (ABC News story, results; Washington Post story, results) of 500 likely Democratic caucues goers in Iowa (conducted 11/14 through 11/18) finds Sen. Barack Obama narrowly leading Sen. Hillary Clinton (30% to 26%) in a statewide primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 22%, Gov. Bill Richardson at 11%. All other candidates receive less than five percent each.

 

Comments
Andrew:

ABC/WP has favored Obama this year. This is illustrated by the fact that the only two polls where Obama was found leading the Dem. field in Iowa were both ABC/WP polls.

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Chris S.:

No, there was one other one. There was a Newsweek poll in September that gave Obama a 4 point lead over Clinton.

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Andrew - It takes more than two polls to suggest that an agency favors a particular candidate. But even if we were to assume that was the case, the raise in Obama's numbers on several key questions is clear between the previous ABC/WP poll and this one, and that in itself is what is notable, because it's the same polling agency using the same methodology.

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Andrew:

Thanks, Chris S. I missed Newsweek.
By the way, Newsweek is owned by none other than the Washington Post.

Now, I don't know if Newsweek and WP use the same agency to conduct the poll, but it's a strange concidence that may be just that: a coincidence.
Or perhaps the methodology favors Obama. Be aware that 41 of 44 pollsters have found a candidate other than Obama in the lead.

And to Shadow: Remember that the 3% increase happened since July, meaning that Hillary has lost a bit less than 1% per month, which is ingisnificant. We don't know what a ABC/WP poll would have found in October, becasue none was conducted. Same for September or August.

Anyway, I find it likely that Hillary is likely to have lost a little ground lately; but my main concern is that Obama may not actually be in the lead.

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Joe B:

Looking at recent polls, this one is definitely an outlier--unless you accept that there have been dramatic changes in the last four days. Funny how the Obama people, who always say polls don't mean anything, have jumped all over this one. Their backtracking should be amusing in the coming days when the pollsters other than this one release their results. Its also significant that nearly all of the canvassing for this poll was taken after the Philly debate and the Iowa JJ dinner, but before Obama's abysmal debate performance in Vegas that was seen by more than four million people. Anyway, the real bad news here is not for Sen. Clinton--its for Sen. Edwards. The boy is sinking like a stone. Looks like it'll be Clinton and Obama getting tickets out of Iowa.

Of course, as we all know, the only polls that count are those at the ballot box on election day.

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Kabindra:

I agree with Andrew. This poll has been an exception throughout wrt Obama. Let's wait for the Register poll.

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RonK, Seattle:

Sample sizes are small, but it would be interesting to see the splits -- 60% post-debate, 40% called before OR DURING the debate.

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RalphB:

This is a funny sample in that 51% of those polled had personally met Obama.

The number for Clinton and Edwards were in the 30% range.

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Mark Blumenthal:

@Andrew:

The polling operations of ABC/Post and Newsweek are completely separate, and the two organizations use different survey companies to conduct the interviews (TNS for ABC/Post and Princeton Survey Research for Newsweek).

@RalphB:

That's not quite right. Exactly a third of the sample (33%) say they have "personally spoken with or shaken the hand of any of the Democratic candidates." Of these, 51% (or roughly 17% of the total) say they have met Obama, 38% say Clinton, 33% say Edwards and so on.

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Andrew:

Thanks Mark Blumenthal for the much needed clarification.

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Tim:

Ralph and Mark,

Could that just mean Obama is working the crowds more than Clinton and Edwards? In other words, what leads us to believe those percentages (51, 38, 33) aren't rough estimates across Iowa in general?

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Andrew:

Harris just released a poll where Hil broke 50% for the 1st time among Dems. nationwide.

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DTM:

Andrew,

Of course as Harris points out, that was also the first poll in which they did not include Al Gore.

More interesting to me is the regional breakdown: Clinton is doing very well in the East, but Obama is actually ahead in the Midwest.

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Michael:

Mark,

I was wondering if you might post trend estimators for Iowa? By my memory, Clinton's lead over Obama in your aggregate polls was ~5.5 points just a couple weeks ago, and now it is down to 3.3 points. If we are indeed seeing some sort of Obama rise/Clinton fall, this poll wouldn't be an outlier, it would be part-and-parcel with the recent trends. But I'm not definite on those trends, so maybe the trend estimator would shed some light on the matter. Especially since Iowa is so important and so close now, it seems like a good time to discuss...

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