More Iowa Election Polling: Tight at the Top, Dems Leading GOP

A new KCCI-TV / Research 2000 poll of likely Iowa voters finds John McCain and Hillary Clinton edging out their respective party rivals, within the survey’s margin of error.

The survey, conducted May 14-16 (overlapping the May 14-15 field dates of the Zogby poll discussed at Smart Politics yesterday), finds McCain (18 percent), Rudy Giuliani (17 percent), and Mitt Romney (16 percent) in a dead heat for the Republican nod in Iowa. Giuliani and McCain each lost 9 points since the last KCCI-TV poll conducted in December 2006, while Romney has gained 7 points. This Romney surge into a virtual tie was also manifested in the Zogby poll.

Clinton (28 percent) edges John Edwards (26 percent) and Barack Obama (22 percent) on the Democratic side. Bill Richardson (7 percent) appears to be the only other Democrat gaining traction in the Hawkeye state.

Iowa Republicans seem to be having a greater difficulty in settling on a candidate at this early stage than do Iowa Democrats. Twenty-two percent of likely GOP caucus voters were unsure for which candidate they would vote in both the KCCI-TV and Zogby polls. On the Democratic side, just 11 percent were undecided in the KCCI-TV poll, and 13 percent in the Zogby poll.

The other interesting finding from the KCCI-TV poll is that nearly all of the leading Democratic candidates have the edge in head-to-head matchups against the leading Republican candidates—with the exception of Hillary Clinton.

Edwards leads Giuliani (41 – 37), McCain (41—38), Romney (44—34), and not-yet-officially declared candidate Fred Thompson (44—29).

Obama also leads Giuliani (44—37), McCain (43—38), Romney (45—34), and Thompson (44—27).

Clinton has narrower leads over Romney (41—35) and Thompson (39—30), is tied with Giuliani (38—38), and trails McCain within the margin of error (39—40).

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