Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly in Tight Iowa Race

Republican pollster Strategic Vision tonight released its latest numbers out of Iowa and they look a little something like this (along with the Pollster.com average out of the state prior to the release of this survey):

Strategic Vision, 600 Democratic LVs, September 21-23, MoE +/- 4%
Strategic Vision
(8/23)
Pollster
Average
Clinton24 (21)26.9
Edwards22 (23)23.5
Obama21 (22)20.2
Richardson13 (14)12.6
Biden4 (5)N/A
Dodd1 (1)N/A
Kucinich1 (1)N/A
Undecided14 (13)N/A

I'd like to take a quick moment to bring up a point that I've been harping on in conversation recently but have yet to discuss here on MyDD. Look at the maybe 20 percent support currently spread across candidates other than Clinton, Edwards and Obama -- what happens to those voters in the caucuses come January if they have to make their second choice decision? This question is key because any candidate not meeting the viability threshold in a particular caucus location (generally 15 percent) sees his or her supporters divvied up among the remaining candidates (i.e. those with at least 15 percent support in that particular location) or "uncommitted" (which actually won the Democratic caucus in 1976, with Jimmy Carter coming in second).

It's probably unrealistic to believe that candidates' levels of support in the state are uniform across the state -- Richardson, for instance, is likely above the 15 percent threshold in at least some locations in Iowa (assuming polling is correct in pegging his overall support in the state at somewhere around 12 to 13 percent). But in those localities in which he is not above 15 percent -- or other candidates, for that matter, including the three perceived frontrunners (whose support in a particular location might not meet the 15 percent threshold) -- where do those supporters go. A number of pollsters ask that second choice question in Iowa, but a great deal do not. Perhaps it's time to begin doing so, though?

Tags: 2008, Democratic primaries, Democrats, Iowa, Iowa Caucuses (all tags)

Comments

48 Comments

Re: Wide Open

It is a WIDE open race in Iowa, but I have been very impressed with Clinton going from 4th place to "almost" 1st place. It is an accomplishment to her campaign.

by RJEvans 2007-09-26 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Wide Open

When was HRC ever in 4th place in Iowa?  How hard can it be to get to the mid twenties in support when you have almost 100% name recognition?

by Stephen Cassidy 2007-09-26 07:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Wide Open

When Vilsack was in the race. She was in the low teens.

by RJEvans 2007-09-26 08:07PM | 0 recs
This is right

This is completely wide open.

There are two ways to read this polls:

  1.  Hillary is making slow and steady progress
  2.  Hillary is in big trouble in Iowa.  There is no historical precident for a front runner to poll this badly in Iowa.

I believe 2 is closer to the truth than 1, but we shall see.

by fladem 2007-09-27 06:32AM | 0 recs
C, E, and O are in trouble in Iowa

Edwards, Clinton and Obama were terrible in the NH debate on the key question of the campaign.  

Why should any Dem support them when they can't promise to get our troops out of Iraq by 2013?  

That's pathetic.  

We voted in 2006 to end the war.  

We aren't voting in 2008 to continue it for another five years.  We have the right to have a President who can look us in the eye and say the war is coming to an end, our troops are coming home.

by Stephen Cassidy 2007-09-26 08:00PM | 0 recs
Re: C, E, and O are in trouble in Iowa

There is a difference between troops in iraq for a war and troops in iraq to protect our bases.  The war will end but we still needs troops to keep the peace.

by allmiview 2007-09-26 08:13PM | 0 recs
Re: C, E, and O are in trouble in Iowa

Hopefully we will get help from the UN.

by RJEvans 2007-09-26 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: C, E, and O are in trouble in Iowa

UN help won't even be an option if we have ZERO troops in Iraq. There can't even be UN humanitarian relief efforts without a US embassy and protection for the green zone and the airport.

by hwc 2007-09-26 08:55PM | 0 recs
we need troops to protect our bases?

I guess I should go read Catch 22 again.  

by John DE 2007-09-26 08:37PM | 0 recs
Re: C, E, and O are in trouble in Iowa

"There is a difference between troops in iraq for a war and troops in iraq to protect our bases."

Whom sees this difference?  We might, but what about the people that count:  the Iraqis.  Are they going  to believe our occupation of their country is over if we continue to maintain massive bases and conduct air operations in their country?  Are the insurgents and extremists going to stop planting bombs and shooting at U.S. soldiers simply because most are stationed at bases and no longer on patrol in the cities and countryside?

Think it through - we are either in or out, not half way in between.  We need to withdraw ALL of our forces.  You don't end the war by continuing to occupy Iraq.

by Stephen Cassidy 2007-09-26 11:02PM | 0 recs
Edwards says no bases

But it is irresponsible to say "I'll be out by x" when they don't know what they'll inherit in January 09.

Prudence is presidential, believe it or not.

Richardson and Kucinich are pandering.

by DrFrankLives 2007-09-27 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

With any luck at all Edwards will move up significantly after tonight's debate.

by Freaky Thirsty 2007-09-26 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R):

Strategic Vision has always been the toughest poll on Clinton in Iowa, bar none.

The trendline:

Strategic Vision Iowa polling:

1/19-21/07 600 LV  Clinton 15%  Edwards 25% Obama 17% Richardson 1%

2/16-18/07 600 LV  Clinton 18%  Edwards 24% Obama 18% Richardson 1%

3/30-4/1/07 600 LV  Clinton 19%  Edwards 27% Obama 20% Richardson 4%

5/18-20/07 600 LV  Clinton 16%  Edwards 29% Obama 24% Richardson 9%

6/22-24/07 600 LV  Clinton 20%  Edwards 26% Obama 21% Richardson 11%

8/17-19/07 600 LV  Clinton 21%  Edwards 23% Obama 22% Richardson 14%

In every single Strategic Vision poll to date, Clinton has always been at #3, the overall low bars SV polls provided for her have been the lowest of all polls.  For them to show her with a small lead this time around (given the type of screen they must be using) may mean that other polls will be showing her leading with a larger margin.   At this point I would be surprised if the next DesMoinesRegister poll does not show a Clinton lead in Iowa.  

by georgep 2007-09-26 08:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R):

Very impressive. Steady and sure, that's what we need as a leader. She again demonstrated tonight she's not easy to get rattled under any circumstances.

by areyouready 2007-09-26 08:15PM | 0 recs
unless someone asks her for a specific answer

hint:

if she laughs, she's scared of the question.

by DrFrankLives 2007-09-27 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R):

Wow, it's really interesting to see her progress in Iowa.  I've always thought that Iowa was Edwards to lose given the time and resources he has expended in Iowa, but this poll is saying that he hasn't closed the deal.  Given all the polls, I really think that things are going to stay in more or less a tie until Jan, when people may have to choose, as Jonathan indicated above, their second choice, which is what will tilt the race to one candidate or the other.

by Kingstongirl 2007-09-26 08:25PM | 0 recs
ARG

ARG has always been the most favorable poll for Clinton by far.

by JaeHood 2007-09-26 08:44PM | 0 recs
Re: ARG

Not disputing that, but SV has been BY FAR the worst polling firm for her.  Don't be too "encouraged" because for them to suddenly show Clinton leading (where in every other poll they had she was in 3rd place) would suggest that other polls will show Clinton adding some points to their particular previous results as well.

by georgep 2007-09-26 09:08PM | 0 recs
Re: ARG

ARG latest poll has shown Hillary declining and they've been by far the most favorable Clintons polls..So you see, i can easily play your dumb games.

ARG had been showing Hillary well over 30's for a while but in their last poll , i think she's at 27-28.. and Obama is well over the 20's which they've never shown him to be that high.

on ARG , obama would constantly get about 15,16,17, but never over 20's.

by JaeHood 2007-09-26 09:28PM | 0 recs
Re: SV

We are talking about SV here, and this is TODAY's poll.  The reason you look at trendlines is so you can assess movement.  Clinton added 3% in this poll, while Obama, Edwards and Richardson all lost a point.   That seems like an upward movement for Clinton, a slight downward movement for Obama, Edwards and Richardson.  

Please respond more respectful in the future.  "Your dumb games" is the type of comment that has brought discourse on this board down.  

The aggregate of polls shows that there is the strongest movement towards Clinton, and this 3 point increase in SV polls confirms that trend.

by georgep 2007-09-26 10:00PM | 0 recs
Re: SV

Typical Hillary supporter....You was whining about SV being pro Obama but i hit you with ARG and you're running away bringing up graphs and polls...Keep running forrest.

by JaeHood 2007-09-26 11:14PM | 0 recs
Re: SV

Typical remark from you, jaehood.  I don't care if you bring up ARG, that is your prerogative.  But you obviously can't handle that SV is actually the worse poll, as they had Clinton at 15% and 16% when no other poll even had close to those extreme low numbers.    WHAT exactly does ARG have to do with THIS poll?   Here Clinton gained 3, Obama, Edwards and Richardson lost 1.  In other words, compared to SV's poll from last month Clinton gained 4 points on all her followers.  That can't be too hard to understand.  

These next few polls out of Iowa are going to be interesting.  If Clinton can gain 4% with Strategic Vision in Iowa, she is probably going to look even better with Zogby and other polling firms.  

by georgep 2007-09-26 11:42PM | 0 recs
Re: SV Polls

George quit spinning.

This poll shows a 3 way tie.

Remember their are 14% UN-DECIDED IN THIS POLL.

I ALSO SAW A QUAD CITY POLL WHICH SHOWED OBAMA WITH 325 and Clinton with 19%

The question is whether or not they will caucus at this rate?

by BDM 2007-09-27 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: SV

by dblhelix 2007-09-27 02:10AM | 0 recs
Encouraging Poll

It's encouraging to see that Iowa is not buying into the media hype that Hillary has already won this race and i give them credit for that because it seem like everyone else has pretty much called this race for her.

This thing is wide open in Iowa and it will depend on whoever has the best organization that would permit them to get their voters out to caucus for them.

I'm seriously pleased because i've been very nervous by the media hyping Clinton down our throat...So far , Iowans arent buying it.

by JaeHood 2007-09-26 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Encouraging Poll

Don't let them bluff you, this race hasn't even really begun.  There are any number of Hillary supporters who will tell you she's had it in the bag since July but virtually none of this speculation is meaningful until the votes are counted.  

by Shaun Appleby 2007-09-27 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

I know everyone here discounts the youth vote.  However, if this is a three point race it doesn't take many college students coming out to win this one.  If we were to assume participation staying level at 120,000 that is only 3,600 students.  Who here wants to take a bet that Obama won't be able to turn out 3,600 students who are new caucus goers?

by Obama08 2007-09-26 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

I agree but i think Obama has to work hard to gain support from old Iowa voters because it cant depend so heavily on young voters...He will have to triple the amount of vote Howard Dean got in Iowa during the 2004 caucus if he doesnt get enought support from the most regular iowa voters.

Can he do it? , yes but very unlikely for him to get about 30,000 college/young voters for him + some old voters to win...He will have to get some old voters support.

by JaeHood 2007-09-26 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

They would have to be evenly distributed throughout Iowa.  Turning out 3,600 new caucus voters in Ames and Iowa City is not going to have all that great an effect in terms of delegates, thanks to the insane formula that is used to convert voters into delegates.  And rural Iowa is very old.

by Valatan 2007-09-26 09:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

It's not that simple. The caucuses require turning out your people at every precinct across the state. A gazillion college students at the three precincts surrounding the major colleges doesn't help much in the big picture.

by hwc 2007-09-26 09:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

They could be a chance the Obama campaign would encourage those students to caucus at a precinct near their home address which would spread them evently throughout the state , and this wouls ease the heavy load in one area by shifting it in other location where Obama might need the help.

If the Obama campaign is smart , they should tell "in-state" iowa students to caucus at home and the out of staters will eventually caucus in those campus areas but im sure some area -polling will have to be done first...They'll probably have to poll their student supporters and find out how many of them are from out of state and how many are iowan residents.

by JaeHood 2007-09-26 11:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

When do you think the caucus is going to be?  If you think it is going to stay at the same time it is now then you are correct.  Not only will many students be back on campus, those students will have just moved back onto campus.

If the caucus date moves up as expected... all of the college students will be at home.  Thus if the students can be turned out it would be at precincts across the state.  The problem is, the students being ah home also makes turning people out more difficult.

by Obama08 2007-09-27 01:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton

Nice try - Edwards has been campaigning in Iowa since when 2001, 2002?

by Stephen Cassidy 2007-09-26 11:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

so much for the steak fry as an opportunity for edwards or obama to shake things up. seems like no matter what happens, up up she goes.

by Todd Beeton 2007-09-26 11:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

What does everyone commenting think about the last part of the main entry?  Where do the Kucinich, Richardson, Dodd, and Biden (and Gore [and Gravel]) votes go if not to those candidates?  Will we see a boost for any one of the top three?

Also, what exactly are the rules in Iowa regarding this occurence that Singer points out?  A candidate has to reach 15% in a caucus precinct or their votes get passed on to some other candidate?  Who determines where these votes go?  Or is Singer predicting defections when it comes time to caucus?

Thoughts?  Explanations?

by jlars 2007-09-26 11:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

The caucus voters all stand in an area of the room designated for each candidate. If a candidate doesn't have the necessary 15%, the other candidates start trying to convince them to come stand with them. That's why having a strong political machine, with leaders who can convince caucus goers is so important.

Crazy stuff happens. Just to give you a theoretical...suppose that Clinton sees that she's going to finish second, but would rather lose to Edwards and kill off Obama. Her people might start convincing all the non-15% voters to go stand with Edwards rather than with Clinton or Obama. It's a very complex dynamic in these caucuses. Candidates need pros working the rooms across the state.

That's why this "grassroots" college student movement idea doesn't really work out that well. A good organization in Iowa requires a lot of experienced caucus leaders with political ties throughout their communities that can be used to cajole, plead, bargain, and arm twist.

by hwc 2007-09-27 12:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

That is what Obama has in IA. Remember his state coordinator is John Kerry's state coordinator in 2004.

I think they know what they are doing.

His strategy is the building of an infrastructure. They are pairing up their out of state volunteer's with local Iowa volunteers.

Also they have set numerical goals of support and are tracking those what they deem hard core support. At this point in time they are hitting their goals of hard core support.

Bottom line as with any of the organizations in Iowa it remains to be seen what strategy will work or not.

by BDM 2007-09-27 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

I think the Richardson supporters are basically Clintonistas.

by antiHyde 2007-09-27 05:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

Thanks for the info, hwc.

Let me see if I got it straight here.  So any registered Democrat Iowan can show up and participate in the caucus and all they do is stand in the Edwards or the Obama or Clinton section of the room?  When do the organizers say "Okay Kucinich  caucus people, you have to go somewhere else" and then who are the people that start trying to convince people where to go?

Do the candidates' staffers actually get to coerce caucus goers (is there a name for "caucus goers?") on the floor or do they have to wait outside.  Typically how many people show up: in the Cities, in the Rurual areas, in college towns?

by jlars 2007-09-27 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton

You left out the fact that Sen. Edwards's full time job for the past few years has been running for president in Iowa.

by realistic democrat 2007-09-27 03:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly i

Yes, second choices are very important, as are two other things:

Motivation: It takes much more of an effort to caucus than to vote.

Ground Game: Obama has 32 offices and many volunteers from out of state.  But it is very hard to actually get people to the caucuses unless they start out highly engaged with the process.

In the end, polls in Iowa 100 days out are even less meaningful than other polls.

by lawyerDan 2007-09-27 04:58AM | 0 recs
Dean proved you don't win Iowa with

volunteers from out of state.

by DrFrankLives 2007-09-27 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean proved you don't win Iowa with

Obama has a good organization in Iowa with Iowan's.

They had 15 busses from 10 different locations in IA for the Harkin Steak fry. Over 3000 supporter's

Most political observwer's were very impressed and surprised bt his operation.

by BDM 2007-09-27 09:45AM | 0 recs
Second place choices

Here is why the second place choices are so critical. The following table is from the 2004 exit poll. As it shows, the reason for Edwards strong second place showing, and for Dean's collapse was the second place preferences of caucus attendees whose first choice did not reach the 15% required for viability.

  Clark Dean Edwards Kerry Gephardt Kuchinich Holy Joe
First Choice 2 22 25 36 11 5 0
Second Choice nt 11 31 28 10 nt nt
Final result 0 18 32 36 11 1 0
by fladem 2007-09-27 06:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Strategic Vision (R): Clinton Leads Narrowly

Edwards was clearly rattled and offered a lousy answer when asked about working for a hedge fund.  Very convincing.

by realistic democrat 2007-09-27 06:20AM | 0 recs
What is the likely voter screen??

Likely caucus goers?  Previous caucus goers?

Not enough info.

by DrFrankLives 2007-09-27 06:26AM | 0 recs
This is the headline in the Des Moines

Register this morning:

Iowa foreclosures tie in with Edwards' link to subprime lending.

Don't think the story will hurt in the long run, but it is unfortunate.
http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.d ll/section?category=NEWS

Very unfortunate given what I thought was a strong debate performance last night.

BTW - don't shoot the messanger.

by fladem 2007-09-27 06:57AM | 0 recs
My Opinions
  1. My gut feeling is that Clinton's support is a little softer than that of Edwards and maybe Obama. The caucus is all about voter intensity, and thats why polls in Iowa are so hard to read. With the big three this close together, I think Clinton's "lead" in Iowa is statistically insignificant aside from the fact that it shows she is gaining momentum.
  2. Obama doesnt have to win Iowa (although if he does, thats an enormous boost), but if he doesnt finish ahead of Clinton he's done. He has everything going for him; its a midwest state, its a neighbor state so he gets a lot of free press coverage in the Quad Cities area, and he can bus over truckloads of volunteers on caucus day.
  3. Hard to say how Richardson/Biden supporters affect this equation, does anyone have any thoughts on that?
by AC4508 2007-09-27 09:54AM | 0 recs

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