As further proof of how things can change in Iowa at the drop of a hat, the latest polling by American Research Group (ARG) finds the former 3-way Democratic race now showing a 14-point Hillary Clinton advantage, and the former duel between Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney now a 3-way race with John McCain.
The poll, conducted December 20-23 of 600 likely Republican and 600 likely Democratic caucus voters, finds Clinton apparently surging after a very shaky last few months with mediocre debate performances and actions by her campaign leaders that have been routinely criticized by the media.
The 34 percent support received by Clinton in the new survey is the highest mark in the monthly ARG poll since late January 2007 (35 percent). Clinton is followed by John Edwards at 20 percent, Barack Obama at 20 percent, Joe Biden at 8 percent, Bill Richardson at 5 percent, and Chris Dodd and Dennis Kucinich at 2 percent each. Ten percent of likely Democratic caucus participants remain undecided.
On the Republican side, the few weeks of attacks against Iowa frontrunner Mike Huckabee are apparently beginning to take their toll. Huckabee’s support, at 23 percent, is at its lowest in the last 4 ARG polls. Romney, at 21 percent, polls within the margin of error, followed by McCain at 17 percent. McCain had been written off in Iowa a month ago—polling at just 9 percent in the late November ARG survey (and as low as 5 percent in other surveys of Iowans conducted during the past 4 weeks).
McCain is followed by Rudy Giuliani (14 percent), and Ron Paul, who, at 10 percent, is at his personal high-water mark in Iowa polling to date. Fred Thompson (3 percent), Duncan Hunter (2 percent), and Alan Keyes (2 percent) round out the GOP field with 8 percent still undecided—the lowest number of undecided Republican caucus voters in 15 ARG polls conducted during the past year.