One month after John Edwards outpolled Hillary Clinton for the first time in American Research Group’s (ARG) monthly survey of likely Iowa Democratic caucus voters, Clinton has once again pulled ahead of the former Vice Presidential nominee. Clinton had lead Edwards by 11 points in December 2006, 17 points in late January, 4 points in February, and 1 point in March before Edwards’ measured support outnumbered Clinton by 27 to 23 percent last month.
In the new May ARG poll Clinton holds a six-point lead on Edwards—31 to 25 percent—with Barack Obama a distant third at 11 percent. The Clinton-Edwards battle for Iowa has been neck-and-neck since the presidential campaign kicked off late last year—evidenced by the unstable polling results that have emerged out of the Hawkeye State every week or so from pollster to pollster.
Clinton has lead Edwards in 5 of the 6 ARG polls, while Edwards has lead or been tied for the lead in all 4 Zogby polls. Edwards also outpolls Clinton in this month’s Iowa Poll (Des Moines Register), but trails the junior Senator from New York in this month’s KCCI-TV / Research 2000 survey.
Clinton’s measured support in Iowa is therefore far from bleak—and her ARG poll performance provides a good distraction from a recent leak of an internal campaign memo suggesting she should skip the Iowa Caucus (a memo Clinton says she never saw) to focus on other states.
While the Democratic frontrunner in Iowa is far from clear, at this stage Obama appears to be garnering the third most support of likely Democratic caucus voters, with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson settling in fourth—flirting with 10 percent in most surveys.