Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dead Heat Could be Fatal for Clinton

Chicago Tribune
Adding to Obama's perception of momentum is a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released last week. The poll is the first in which Obama has scored a higher percentage than Clinton in Iowa, where the Jan. 3 precinct caucuses will formally launch the 2008 presidential race.

Obama's lead in the ABC/Post poll is within the survey's margin of error, pollsters caution, which means he and Clinton remain in the statistical dead heat in Iowa that they have been in since at least mid-summer. More ominous for Clinton is the apparent shift in what Iowa Democrats say they are seeking in a candidate. A majority in the new poll favor "new direction and new ideas" over "strength and experience" by 55 percent to 33 percent. A July ABC/Post poll found the ratio was 49 percent to 39 percent. Suddenly the lock that Clinton seemed to have on the nomination appears to have come unlocked.

The new battle of perceptions between Obama and Clinton is one of "honesty" versus "experience," in the Iowa poll. Even among Iowa's women, who have been more supportive of Clinton than Iowa's men, 30 percent believe Obama is more "honest and trustworthy," while just 18 percent say that for Clinton. For Obama, Iowa has turned from lackluster into a love fest.

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