According to a new poll from Strategic Vision, LLC, when Republicans were asked whom they would support in 2008 for the presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee led with 29 percent. When Democrats were polled, Barack Obama led with 30 percent.
The poll has a ±4.5 percentage points margin of error and was taken in Iowa of 600 likely Republican caucus goers and 600 likely Democratic caucus goers.
On the Republican side, Huckabee was followed by Mitt Romney with 27 percent; Fred Thompson with 15 percent; John McCain 14 percent; Rudy Giuliani 4 percent; Ron Paul 4 percent; and Duncan Hunter 1 percent. Six percent were undecided.
“Huckabee lost support over the past week while Romney increased his showing particularly among white males,” said David E. Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision, LLC. Huckabee appears to be locked into a 28 percent to 30 percent support base but does not appear to be able to expand beyond that core support. His base of support continues to be Christian evangelicals. Romney’s support is strongest among white males between 25 to 45 and among white females 55 and older. There still appears to be a strong reluctance among the Christian evangelicals to embrace Romney because of his religion.
“The real battle is for third place,” continued Johnson. McCain is surging and gained 6 percent since last week and is basically tied with Thompson for third place while Thompson’s support is declining. It is possible to see McCain finishing third in the caucus. He is polling very well among older voters.”
On the Democratic side, Obama was followed by Hillary Clinton at 29 percent; John Edwards at 28 percent; Joseph Biden received 5 percent; Bill Richardson 2 percent; Chris Dodd received 1 percent; and Dennis Kucinich 1 percent. Four percent were undecided.
“The Democratic race has tightened over the past week and although Obama retains the lead this race is very much up for grabs,” said Johnson. “Events overseas could shift support for Clinton with her claims of experience. While the Democratic race remains tight, both Edwards and Obama appear in better shape than Clinton, as those two are the second choice of most of the supporters of the other candidates while Clinton is basically locked in place with her support. Turnout and the unfolding events overseas could determine this race.”
When Democratic voters were asked what they most looked for in a presidential candidate, charisma, experience, or ideology, 32 percent selected ideology; 30 percent selected charisma; 21 percent selected experience; and 17 percent were undecided.
“The problem for Clinton in this question is that the number of Democrats favoring experience continues to decline,” said Johnson. “Although recent events in Pakistan could change this.”
The poll also asked respondents' views on Iraq. When Democrats were asked if they favored a withdrawal from Iraq in the next six months, 85 percent said yes; 6 percent said no; and 9 percent were undecided.
“This question poses a problem for Democratic candidates,” said Johnson. “While they must appeal to the dominant anti-war crowd, at the same time they cannot take too extreme of a position that will alienate moderate voters in the General Election. Additionally, if the surge appears to be working, they cannot appear to be advocating defeat when victory may be nearing.”
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