Democrat Barack Obama continued his upward momentum through the evening before the Iowa caucuses, capturing the lead ahead of rivals John Edwards and Hillary Clinton.. Meanwhile, Republican Mike Hucakbee widened his lead over Mitt Romney down the stretch, the newest and last Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby daily telephone tracking poll in Iowa shows.
Obama broke through the 30% barrier for the first time, gaining 31% support after another strong day leading up to the caucuses. But more dramatic was Clinton’s four-point drop in this last day of tracking. Edwards moved into second place by himself after another day where he steadily gained ground. This fifth and final daily tracking poll was conducted using live telephone operators in the Zogby call center in Upstate New York. Edwards finished this Zogby daily tracking in Iowa in the same place as four years ago, when Zogby correctly identified the finishing order of the candidates in that caucus.
Obama continued to perform very well among younger likely Democratic caucus-goers, while Clinton enjoys strong support from older voters. Among men, Obama has sprinted ahead of Edwards, who is now second. Clinton continues to lead among women, but only by a small margin.
With a Huckabee surge and a Romney dip, the former Arkansas governor opened up a six-point lead over his nearest rival. Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson also lost a point, and Arizona Sen. John McCain, who has been surging in New Hampshire, faded here into a tie for fourth place.
Huckabees strength among women was notable he leads Romney by a 37% to 25% margin, while enjoying a narrow 27% to 25% edge among men. Huckabee also continued to show well among those likely caucus-goers age 25-34 and age 35-54, where he held significant leads over Romney and the rest of the field.
The telephone tracking survey of Democrats included 905 likely caucusgoers surveyed over four days. The margin of error for the Democratic survey was +/ 3.3 percentage points. For the telephone survey of likely Republican caucusgoers, the sample included 914 people and carries a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points. Both the Democratic sample and the Republican sample include interviews from Dec.30, 2007, to Jan. 2, 2008.