While Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue their 1-2 punch in all national polls and most state polls, John Edwards consistently fares the best among the Democratic field when matched up against the leading Republican contenders. This is especially the case in key battleground states.

In recent polling in Iowa (KCCI-TV), Ohio (Quinnipiac), and Pennsylvania (Quinnipiac), Hillary Clinton holds a lead in head-to-head matchups against Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson in all three states, by a combined sum of 85 points (+13 against Giuliani, +36 against Romney, and +36 against Thompson).

Barack Obama falls just short of that, leading in all matchups except against Giuliani in Pennyslvania. Overall, the Illinois Senator leads the three candidates by a combined sum of 80 points (+5 against Giuliani, +39 against Romney, and +36 against Thompson).

While Edwards is also in a dead heat against Giuliani in Pennsylvania (down by 2 points), he has significantly bigger leads overall, especially against Thompson and Romney. Edwards leads the three GOP candidates by the combined sum of 123 points (+14 against Giuliani, +55 against Romney, and +54 against Thompson).

During recent endorsements during the past week, key labor unions have stated they felt Edwards was the Democrat most likely to be successful in a general election campaign. His big early lead in polls against the Republicans in key battleground states seems to bolster the views of these labor groups.