Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Will Obama win Iowa?

Maybe, Mrs. Clinton, a black man can win.

New Iowa Poll: Obama widens lead over Clinton

Obama was the choice of 32 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers, up from 28 percent in the Register's last poll in late November, while Clinton, a New York senator, held steady at 25 percent and Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, was virtually unchanged at 24 percent.

Far from a lock. But, the trend towards the end is key. Voters have to decide and stick w/ a decision. They begin to do that in the final days. So, the 32% may not change much.

That said: (1) margin of error is going to be around 5%; (2) 6% are undecided; (3) voters' second choice is very important because voters can shift to their second choice if their first choice gets insufficient support in their caucus (I believe the number is 15%).

Remember the Howard Dean collapse 4 years ago? The collapse of expectations can be hard to recover from. If Clinton were to follow up an Iowa loss with a New Hampshire loss (not unlikely given that Obama is w/in 4% in New Hampshire), her campaign could be over. She would then have to adopt a 'southern strategy' that would play, however gently, the race card and hope she could build up delegates there. Not a strategy that endears one to the Democratic electorate.

Remember a couple of months back when Guiliani and Clinton seemed inevitable?

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