Thursday 6 December 2007

Hillary's strength (beyond Iowa)

The closer we get to the Iowa caucus - a peculiar affair, which doesn't lend itself easily to polling, a point well made here in the New Republic - the better Barack Obama (right) seems to do. And there is a real possibility that Obama will win in Iowa, just as Romney or Huckabee could win over Giuliani for the Republicans. A win in Iowa would undoubtedly boost Obama, but if he loses there, he is as good as finished in the campaign as a whole given that his team has showered resources on the relatively small group of Democrats entitled to vote. But none of this means much if Clinton and Giuliani win in the big states that will be contested fairly soon after New Hampshire. So, today's LA Times/Bloomberg poll should give considerable encouragement to the Clinton camp. It shows Hillary with a commanding 24 point lead among Democrats, but most telling are the figures about who is ready to be President. Most Democrats think Obama would be better waiting a few more years. Indeed, Huckabee looks a far greater threat to Giuliani than Obama is to Clinton.

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