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Friday, December 14, 2007

CNN Poll: Clinton and Giuliani Reeling

Iowa Caucus Analysis, Friday, December 14th
Latest National Poll from CNN/Opinion Research Corporation
Registered Democrats' choice for nominee for 2008
Clinton - 40%
Obama - 30%
Edwards - 14%
Richardson - 4%
Biden - 4%
Dodd - 2%
Kucinich - 2%
Gravel - <1%>

Registered Republicans' choice for nominee for 2008
Giuliani - 24%
Huckabee - 22%
Romney - 16%
McCain - 13%
Thompson - 10%
Paul - 6%
Hunter - 2%
Tancredo - 1%

This is the smallest lead for both Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani since very early in 2007. It is less than three weeks until Iowa, and both the favorites are hemorrhaging their lead like Napoleon vomiting the whole of the poison during his attempted suicide. In fact, one can extend that terrible analogy when one considers that the huge leads built by Clinton and Giuliani was a factor in the eventual collapse of their polling numbers. Not only did the "inevitability" factor work against them, but every other candidate knew that in order to be nominated, the poll leader must be taken down, and every shot taken at them will linger for the duration of the campaign.

The debates this week did nothing to stem the growth of who most call their chief challengers, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee. (I would still argue that a Giuliani loss probably comes from Romney, not Huckabee. As for the Dems, if Edwards wins Iowa, it's a legitimate three-way race.) Obama's performance yesterday was his best of any debate, and all it took was a little more time given to him that was formally usurped by Gravel and Kucinich. (One can only imagine how well he can do in the potential one-on-one setting against the Republican nominee.) Huckabee, meanwhile, seems to have peaked at the right time, because the Republicans played nice on Wednesday, and since there are no more Iowa debates, it will be difficult for his fellow GOP candidates to reach out to a national audience to do what they did to Giuliani and Mitt Romney.

The point? Frankly, I've never been closer to calling the state of Iowa. This is not my final prediction, but I feel very confident about:

1. Obama
2. Edwards
3. Clinton

and

1. Huckabee
2. Romney
3. Thompson/McCain

See you next week.

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