Polls Continue To Show Drop in Support for Edwards in Iowa

National polls at this stage mean very little, and even polls in the early states can change considerably between now and when people turn out to vote. Still, considering how heavily John Edwards has concentrated on Iowa it is significant that he continues to fall in the polls. For example, the last Strategic Vision poll showed Edwards in third place at 20%, trailing Clinton at 28% and Obama at 23%.

Considering how Kerry came back in 2004 I am reluctant to totally write anyone off, but at present the race looks like it is coming down to a battle between Clinton and Obama. Richardson had showed signs earlier in the year of breaking into the top tier, but his support has fallen to 9%. Dodd continues to be unable to attract attention beyond the blogosphere and remains stuck at 1%, while Biden has 6%.

A new University of Iowa poll released today has similar findings. Clinton leads the poll with 28.9% while Obama is at 26.6%.
Edwards has fallen six points from the last poll in August to 20%. Richardson declined from 9.4 % in August to 7.2% The poll is particularly damaging to Edwards:

For Edwards, who has basically been living in Iowa (and who parlayed a second place finish there in 2004 into a spot on the Democratic ticket), the results have to be disconcerting. Unlike Obama and Clinton, he has few other strongholds, and a poor showing in Iowa could place his candidacy in serious jeopardy.

Edwards does do better when the poll attempts to separate out those who are likely to vote, and therefore does continue to have a chance at winning, but even if his does allow him to get by with a narrow win it is doubtful it would be enough to give him a bounce elsewhere.
If the race remains as it is, Iowa’s rules might work to Obama’s advantage A candidate must have the support of 15% of those attending a caucus to be considered viable. As Obama is the second choice of the supporters of other candidates more often than Clinton he could move ahead of Clinton in the caucus vote even if Clinton starts out the day as the first choice of more voters.

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