In just under a month, the first of the caucuses will take place in Iowa and we will be on our way to picking the next President. And the way it stands now, according to the latest Zogby Poll, is that both the Republican and Democratic races are in virtual dead heats.
In the Democratic race, New York Senator Hillary Clinton leads with 27%, followed by Illinois Senator Barack Obama with 24% and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards with 21%. These are just about the same as last month. Last month, there were 13% who were undecided and this month it is 11%.
There is one change, though, that does favor Clinton and that is the fact that there are more voters who say she would be their second choice. In Iowa this is a very important statistic. Any candidate who does not get 15% in the first round of balloting is considered unviable and that candidates’ supporters pick their second choice from among the candidates who are sill viable, and then there is a second round of balloting.
Last month, when it came to picking a second choice, the advantage went to Obama and Edwards. This month it looks like Clinton has been picking up ground on them, especially among those who consider experience important. She gets most of the second choice votes from the supporters of Delaware Senator Joe Biden and does well with the supporters of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as well. With the votes who pick Obama as their first choice, Edwards gets most of the second choice votes and Edwards supporters say the same about Obama. The supporters of Clinton pick Obama as their second choice as well.
The independent voters are an important factor in the Iowa caucuses since they are allowed to vote in one or the other caucuses. The independent voters in Iowa pick Obama with 31%, Edwards with 26% and Clinton 19%.
With the women voters it is Clinton 33%, Obama and Edwards each with 23%. With the men, Obama leads with 26%, Clinton has 20%, Edwards 19%, Richardson 10% and Biden 9%.
On the Republican side of the ledger, the leader is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with 26%, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with 25%, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani with 12%, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson 8%, Arizona Senator John McCain 5%. Texas Congressman Ron Paul 5%, Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo 2%, California Congressman Duncan Hunter 1%. There is 1% who wish they could pick someone else and 15% who are not sure.
With the women voters, Huckabee has the advantage over Romney 25% to 24%, but with the men it is Romney over Huckabee 28% to 26%.
With the voters who consider themselves to be Born Again Christians, Huckabee is way out in from with 42% followed by Romney, 22%. With the non Born Agains, Romeny is in the lead with 30%.
With those who own guns, Huckabee and Romney are tied for the lead with 27% support and Thompson is in third at 11%. The story is a little bit different with those who used to own guns, but do not have any now, Huckabee leads Romney, 34% to 28%. With those who have never owned a gun, Huckabee leads Romney, 26% to 23%, and Giuliani make a strong showing with 18% support.
In New Hampshire, Clinton still has a double digit lead, although it is not as high as it has been. It is now 4% lower than it was in September. Right now she gets 32% and Obama 21%.
Among the older voters, 65 and older, Clinton gets 37%, Obama 15% and Edwards 11%. She also has the lead in then 30 to 49 year old group with 33%, Obama gets 27% and Edwards 18%. With the 50 to 64 age group, Clinton leads again with 32%, Obama is next with 25% and Edwards gets 17%.
With the male voters in New Hampshire, Clinton is in the lead with 24%, Edwards is next with 20% and Obama gets 18%. It is an entirely different story with the females where Clinton leads with 39%, Obama gets 23% and Edwards 13%.
When it comes to just how much the voters support their first choice, both Clinton and Obama have around 50% of their supporters who say they will not change their minds. The other 50% of Obama’s supporters say they could change their minds. With Clinton, 44% of her supporters say they could change their minds.
Edwards does not have anywhere near the amount of solid support that Clinton and Obama have. There are 62% of his supporters who say that they are either somewhat or very likely that they will change their minds.
With the Republicans, Romeny has a solid lead with 35%, followed by McCain, with 17% support, and Giuliani with 15%. Huckabee has moved up to 10%. Paul has actually doubled his numbers to 7% and 10% are still saying they have not made up their minds.
With those who classify themselves as being moderates, McCain comes out ahead, but not by much. He gets 27% to Romney’s 26%. It is a different story with those who say they are mainline conservatives where Romney has a commanding lead of 42% and McCain 16%. With the very conservative, it is Romney 38% Huckabee 20% and Giuliani 14%.
But when it comes to the level of support that the voters have for their first choice, both Romney and McCain do not do so well. With Romney, just 40% of his supporters are saying that they will definitely vote for him and with McCain it is 37%.
Source; Zogby http://www.zogby.com/