Today Rasmussen Reports released their first poll of the Iowa Democratic caucus. This poll provides more evidence of the national growing trend of Democratic voters rallying around frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton. Clinton leads 33%-22%-21% over John Edwards and Barack Obama. These numbers reveal that Clinton has gained even more support than in last weekâ€™s The Des Moines Register poll that showed her with a seven and eight point lead over Edwards and Obama. In that poll, Clinton led 29%-23%-22%. While Edwards and Obama only shifted by a point, Clinton gained four points in the new Rasmussen poll.
In fourth place is Bill Richardson at 7% and in fifth is Joe Biden with 4%. Biden has announced that it will take a fourth place finish or higher for him to stay in the race after Iowa. Clinton leads in Iowa with both men and women. She leads among women, with 39% support, and she leads Edwards with men 28%-24%. Clinton leads Obama among liberals 29%-24%. Obama leads with those who make more than $75,000 a year, and Clinton leads with voters who make less than $40,000 a year. John Edwards leads among those who make $40,000-$75,000 a year. In this category, Edwards leads Clinton and Obama, 29%-28%-21%.
Clinton and Edwards both have favorability ratings of 82%. Obama was given a 78%, Richardson a 63%, and Biden a 51%. Not surprisingly, Clinton even leads when the sample is limited to those who said that they were absolutely certain that they are going to vote. Her support falls to 31% among this group, but she is still eight points ahead of the competition. If Clinton continues to build momentum in the Hawkeye State, then it is doubtful that she will be denied the Democratic nomination.
Democratic voters are drawn to Clinton not because of anything that she has said or done. They seem to be supporting Clinton because they genuinely think that she can win, and the fond memories that they hold of her husbandâ€™s administration. One of the major failings of her Democratic opponents has been that they have not even tried to separate Clinton from her husbandâ€™s legacy. They have allowed her to embrace and run on her husbandâ€™s record, virtually unopposed. Right now, I think only a scandal or major mistake will keep Hillary from the nomination. Iowa looked to be her last major hurdle, and she has now put herself in a position to win there too.
Jason Easley is the politics editor at www.411mania.com/politics His column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Jason is also the host of TPU Radio, which can be heard at www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse every Sunday morning at 11 AM ET.