ABC News/WaPo Iowa Poll: Obama Rising
by Todd Beeton, Mon Nov 19, 2007 at 01:17:43 PM EST
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll of Democratic Iowa voters (500 LVs, Nov. 14-18, MOE 4.5%) shows Obama rising and Edwards falling -- although both within the margin of error -- while Hillary Clinton remains fixed at the same level of 4 months ago.Nov.JulyRCP 6-poll Ave.Obama302724.8Clinton262627.2Edwards222621.8Richardson111110.3Biden424.2Kucinich22Dodd11No Opinion34
A central dynamic at play here appears to be the rising importance of a "new direction" (up 6%) and a corresponding decline in the importance of "strength and experience" (down 6%) among caucus goers. From ABC's analysis:
Most Democratic likely voters in Iowa, 55 percent, say they're more interested in a "new direction and new ideas" than in strength and experience, compared with 49 percent in July -- a help to Obama, who holds a substantial lead among "new direction" voters.
In addition, Obama leads on several important issues including Iraq, Iran and immigration and key qualities such as most honest and trustworthy, most willing to speak his mind and the ever important "understands your problems," which he leads Clinton by 10 points.
Where Clinton has given up some ground to Obama in a few categories, she gains in one very important demographic: older voters. This is where Edwards seems to have taken his biggest hit.
Perhaps the largest change in any individual groups has been at Edwards' expense - a drop in support among older voters in Iowa, which had been his best group. Among those age 65 and over, just 18 percent now support him, down from 36 percent in July. Among seniors - another normally high-turnout group - Clinton now leads.
The internals of this poll are all very good for Obama, which is in stark contrast to the CBS/NYTimes poll from last week in which things looked to be going John Edwards's way. Clearly, depending on the polling differences (ABC/Wapo poll included leaners, hence the low "no opinion" as opposed to CBS/NYT, which had a large number of "Undecided" voters) and sampling methodologies, the results in these polls are fluctuating wildly. I'm not inclined to take this as a sure sign of an Obama surge only because The ABC/WaPo methodology does seem to favor him -- the July poll is one of only three Iowa polls this year (including this new one) to have Obama ahead, albeit by only a point.
Update [2007-11-19 19:30:49 by Jerome Armstrong]: Chiming in, it's great that the pollsters are now adding whether the voters attended the 2004 caucuses or not, here's the results of that:
Clinton Obama Edwards Richardson Attended previous caucus: 21 27 26 11 First time: 34 35 14 11I would tend to bank more on those that caucused in '04, and in that scenario, what this poll really shows is the importance of whomever the second choice of Richardson supporters happens to be on Jan 3rd.