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POLL: Des Moines Register/Selzer Iowa Survey


A new Des Moines Register Iowa Poll (Democratic results, Republican results, methodology, David Yepsen column, Iowa Poll home page) of likely caucus goers in Iowa (conducted 11/25 through 11/28 by Selzer & Co) finds:

  • Among 500 registered who say they definitely or probably will attend the Iowa Republican caucuses, former Gov. Mike Huckabee has "leaped ahead" of former Gov. Mitt Romney (29% to 24%), followed by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani at 13%, former Sen. Fred Thompson at 9%, Sen. John McCain and Rep. Ron Paul at 7% each, and Rep. Tom Tancredo at 6%.
  • Among 500 registered who say they definitely or probably will attend the Iowa Democratic caucuses, Sen. Barack Obama has "pulled ahead" of Sen. Hillary Clinton (28% to 25% -- though the lead is "statistically insignificant"), followed by John Edwards at 23%, Gov. Bill Richardson at 9% and Sen. Joe Biden and 6%.
  • All other candidates trail at less than five percent each.
  • Yepsen (via The Page): "Close to half of the Democrats and 61 percent of the Republicans say they still could be persuaded to change their minds."

 

Comments
Paul:

Huckabees' recent Iowa numbers (ABC-24, RAS-28, ARG-27 and SVR-24) support this 29 number and show Huckabee is definitely in the game, which is amazing when you consider that Romney has a "war chest" 12 times that of Huckabee (60 million to 5 million). Sounds to me like Huckabee's down home style is working as compared to the slick corporate 5th Avenue driven approach and personality of Romney, which may not suit some Iowans. The problem Huckabee has is that his last set of numbers in New Hampshire range from 7-14. It will be interesting to see if he can get momentum in New Hampshire before the actual Iowa primary from his polling numbers there.

In terms of the Democrats, since the October Des Moines Register poll, Obama has gained 6 points and Clinton has lost 4 points. Compared to other recent polls, Iowa looks tied for all practical purposes. Clinton has held a 7-11 point lead in New Hampshire. It will be interesting to see if Obama's potential success in Iowa will have carry over to New Hampshire.

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I'll make another plea to Mark: I'd love to see the percentage of undecided voters over time to guage how much of this change is shifting in support between candidates vs. people more willing to state a candidate preference as the election nears. My sense is that some of both is happening here.

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jjmckim:

This poll used the Secretary of State's list of registered voters to get their sample.

Do you know from what time period this list captures registered voters?

Would it capture what I estimate to be 6 or so % of former Republicans who have switched over to support Obama in the last year?

The other factor that could lead to an understatement of Obama support is if the Register's sample of independents is smaller than actually turn out.

Are these scenarios possible or just wild hopes of an Obama supporter?


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jjmckim:

I can't find the 2nd choice numbers. Any idea what these were?

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Brian:

Could you do the more fickle trend estimate? With so many changes in the polls over the past couple weeks it appears that your trend estimate is trailing the true nature of the campaign. I would be interested in seeing it nationally and on the state polls.

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Tim C.:

It does look like they asked for what were the 2nd choice for folks, but I don't see that listed publicly either... Anyone else find it?

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Nick Panagakis:

Some answers.

From the IA Poll methods: "Interviewers contacted randomly selected voters registered as Democrat, Republican or no-party by using randomly selected telephone numbers from the Iowa secretary of state’s voter registration list." So all registered voters regardless of party and no-party were in the sample.

The IA web site shows 2,049,893 reg voters as of 11/1/07 so lists may be current. IA has had about 2 mil voters for a long time so the population may be very stable. However, there is caucus day registration. Iowa loves its first in the nation status and are very accommodating - including age and gender stats of voters who voted by county after general elections.

For the record, in 2004 the Iowa Poll conducted by Selzer & Co of Des Moines was the only poll to have the exact order the top candidates got in the Dem caucus. (Bush was unopposed.) Three other polls had the wrong winner.

Current news. Iowa does allow college student participation. 30,000 students in Iowa City. Obama is recruiting student caucus goers. According to the U of Iowa, 1/3 of its students come from the Chicago metro. (I sent my kids there.) In an earlier post, Blumenthal reported 140,000 Dem caucus goers in 2004.

However, the Spring semester does not start until about Jan 19. Residence halls are closed until then although the majority live off-campus. It'll be interesting to see how thist works out. No mention of the college student component in IA poll samples.

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Joey:

To the person looking to see how Undecided voters are shifting... Check out these links..

Democratic Unsures

and Republican Unsures... Dem Unsures have dropped about 5% and Republicans have dropped about 9% over the past 3-4 months in Iowa. So Huckabee's surge could be attributed to a lot of unsures I think.

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Andrew:

Giuliani may be faring even worse right now than the 13% shown in the poll , given that his most recent cheating/fraud scandal broke on the 28th of Nov., if I'm not mistaken, which is the last day the poll was conducted, meaning that virtually none of those surveyed in the poll were aware of these new developments.

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gjdodger:

Gov. Romney apparently takes these polls seriously. He will deliver a speech on his faith and its influence on him as a politician this week. He had previously vowed not to pull a "John Kennedy," but this will even be in Texas, the same state as JFK's Catholicism speech.

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