I thought that Hillary Clinton and Obama were basically tied in Iowa — with Obama with a bit of an edge. Then I saw a poll suggesting Edwards was surging and might take the prize.
A new poll, however, shows Hillary Clinton with a “stunning double-digit lead over her nearest rival among likely Democratic caucus-goers.” This in a report from CNN.
Obama and Edwards are, according to the poll, vying with each other for second place — and Joe Biden is next with 11%. That’s a respectable showing by the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman. If Biden places third in the race, beating either Obama or Edwards, he’ll be part of a surprise package in Iowa.
The Republican race seems to be tightening, however, with Huckabee and Romney basically tied. McCain is next — and then Ron Paul with a respectable 10%.
What is interesting is that the drop in Obama’s support seems to corrolate time-wise with the discussion of “identity” vs. “experience” among the candidates — particularly with regard to Hillary Clinton and Obama.
I find it bizarre that the interesting policy proposals Obama has been floating and which this blog has saluted (particularly on US-Cuba relations), his logic about how to approach transnational problems, and his reasonable degree of experience were something his team was williing to abandon, or alternatively, de-emphasize. But it appears pretty clear that the campaign has been pushing the notion that somehow Obama is innately just the best candidate.
This was disappointing for me — and apparently many others, but he can bounce back if he stops asking Americans to trust his “gut” — something Americans got wrong in the case of George W. Bush.
— Steve Clemons