A new ABC New/Washington Post poll in Iowa finds Barack Obama ahead of Hillary. Obama is supported by 30% of likely Iowa voters compared to 26% for Hillary and 22% for John Edwards:
The results are only marginally different from a Post-ABC poll in late July, but in a state likely to set the tone for the rest of the nominating process, there are significant signs of progress for Obama -- and harbingers of concern for Clinton.The poll also found Hillary vulnerable on questions of character:
The factors that have made Clinton the clear national front-runner -- including her overwhelming leads on the issues of the Iraq war and health care, a widespread sense that she is the Democrats' most electable candidate, and her strong support among women -- do not appear to be translating on the ground in Iowa, where campaigning is already fierce and television ads have been running for months.
At the heart of the Democratic race has been the dichotomy between strength and experience (qualities emphasized by Clinton, Richardson, and Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut in their appeals) and the ability to introduce a new approach to governing (as Obama and Edwards have promised to do).
Iowa Democrats are tilting toward change, and Obama appears to be benefiting from it.
Fifty-five percent of those surveyed reported that a "new direction and new ideas" are their top priority, compared with 33 percent who favored "strength and experience." That is a shift from July, when 49 percent sought change and 39 percent experience.
Thirty-one percent found Obama to be the most honest and trustworthy, about double the percentage who said the same of Clinton. While about three-quarters credited both Obama and Edwards with speaking their mind on issues, only 50 percent said Clinton is willing enough to say what she really thinks. Forty-five percent said she is not sufficiently candid.Iraq and health care dominate as the campaign's top issues.
ABC World News reported the new poll has even more bad news for Hillary, only half of Iowa Democratic caucus goers say she's willing to say what she really thinks. Watch the video of the ABC report.
The perception that Hillary won't say what she really thinks was damningly illustrated in her pathetic performance at the Democrats' debate at Drexal university. You can see highlights of that Hillary's failure to give straight answers during that debate here, here and here.
The survey was conducted November 14 to 18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percent.