Let's start with Iowa...
- Clinton 30%, Obama 28%, Edwards 26%, Richardson 7%, Biden 3%
- Clinton 31%, Obama 27%, Edwards 22%, Richardson 9%, Biden 5%
- Obama 33%, Clinton 29%, Edwards 20%, Richardson 8%, Biden 4%
- Obama 30%, Clinton 27%, Edwards 27%, Biden 5%, Richardson 3%
Clinton...Obama. Obama...Clinton. This has been a two-horse race for quite a while, but it seems that John Edwards has started to really gain some traction in the lower-20 percent range after a long and steady slide downward, and is overall looming as a threat to both Obama and Clinton, even tying Clinton for 2nd place in the Strategic Vision poll (can you imagine that? Clinton finishing 3rd?). In the CNN poll, only 4 points separate the "big 3" in the Democratic Party race.
With the news that the Clinton campaign has advised it's staffers to "lower expectations" for Iowa, could they be bracing for impact as their campaign grinds to a halt?
Heading down to South Carolina...
- Clinton 42%, Obama 34%, Edwards 16%, Biden 3%, Richardson 2%
- Obama 28%, Clinton 22%, Edwards 14%, Biden 10%, Richardson 2%
- Obama 33%, Clinton 33%, Edwards 17%, Biden 4%, Richardson 2%
Edwards' performance in South Carolina is, for the lack of a better term, piss-poor. He's from neighboring North Carolina, his southern accent is real (unlike Clinton's), he should be doing a lot better than this. It actually should speak volumes about his true viability as a candidate to be doing well in Iowa (where anything goes), but stinking up the joint in South Carolina. By the way, look at the Insider Advantage poll, and see where Joe Biden is getting 10% and only 4 points behind Edwards...is it an anomaly or a sign of things to come?
Clinton and Obama are in a dogfight here, and Edwards' generally poor showing here allows them to each claim larger shares of support, but neither one has gained a decisive advantage over the other.
To the national stage we go...
- Clinton 40%, Obama 24%, Edwards 15%, Richardson 3%, Biden 3%
- Clinton 40%, Obama 32%, Edwards 13%, Richardson 3%, Biden 3%
- Clinton 49%, Obama 20%, Edwards 10%, Biden 3%, Richardson 2%
Interesting, Clinton polling anywhere from 40 to near 50 percent nationally. Obama polling an average in the mid-20's, and Edwards unable to break out of the low-teens. This is more in line with what the pundits expected. However, this may change dramatically if Obama wins Iowa and/or South Carolina. Right now, Clinton's popularity nationally rides on name recognition more than anything. Many primary voters won't pay serious attention until after Iowa, especially on the Dem side, where things are so hot and heavy.
Unless he finishes 2nd in Iowa, Edwards is cooked. Biden and Richardson are most likely positioning themselves for a VP slot at this point.