One of the few states Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has not jumped out to a significant lead in early polling is the state of Iowa. John Edwards has lead Clinton or been nipping at her heels in most public polls taken during the past 7 months. It has been said Edwards has virtually lived in Iowa since the 2004 election—making dozens of appearances there and pinning his 2008 Election Campaign on a victory in the Hawkeye State caucus.
The latest monthly poll conducted by American Research Group (ARG) at the end of June finds Clinton with a 32 percent to 29 percent lead over Edwards. Unlike most other public polls, ARG has consistently found Clinton to be ahead of Edwards in Iowa—in six of seven surveys conducted since December 2006. In contrast, all four Zogby polls conducted since January 2007 have found Edwards to be tied or in the lead. In May’s Iowa Poll (Des Moines Register), Edwards had a six-point lead over Barack Obama and an eight-point lead over Clinton.
Obama’s measured support in the new ARG poll is just 13 percent. The U.S. Senator is not yet getting much of a boost in Iowa for hailing from the neighboring Midwest state of Illinois.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson came in fourth in the ARG poll with 5 percent.
For further perspective of how much things can change in Iowa during the next six months consider this: in a June 2003 poll of likely Democratic Caucus voters, Dick Gephardt (who ultimately finished fourth) had a double-digit lead with 27 percent over John Kerry (14 percent), Howard Dean (11 percent), and Joe Lieberman (10 percent) (KCCI-TV / Research 2000). Edwards (in fifth in that poll at 4 percent) eventually rose to a second place finish at 32 percent, winning 40 percent (18) of the state’s delegates.