Opinion: BREAKING NEWS: New Times poll examines 3 early states


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At the beginning of the autumn dash to the primaries, a new Times/Bloomberg Poll of 3,211 Democrats and Republicans in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina shows that Hillary Clinton maintains a strong lead in all three states (28%, 35% and 45%, respectively). John Edwards is a relatively close second in Iowa (23%) with Obama at 19%, tied for second at 16% with Barack Obama in New Hampshire and trailing Obama badly (27% to 7%) in South Carolina.

Bill Richardson has 10% in Iowa, 8% in New Hampshire and 1% in South Carolina. Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd all draw 3% to 0% in the three states.

In the Republican race, Mitt Romney holds a clear lead in Iowa (28%) to Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson tied for second at 16%. Mike Huckabee comes in third at 8%, John McCain at 7%, Tom Tancredo at 3%, Ron Paul and Sam Brownback at 2% and Duncan Hunter at 1%.

Romney maintains a slimmer lead in New Hampshire, 28% to Giuliani’s 23%, while McCain has moved up to third with 12% and Thompson at 11%, two points behind Don’t Know. In South Carolina, newcomer Thompson has surged into the lead with 26% to Giuliani’s 23%, McCain’s 15% and Romney’s 9%. Huckabee has 6%. The poll was taken Sept. 6-10 with a margin of error of +/- 4 or 5%.

Iowa Democrats find Edwards the most likable (31%) followed by Obama (28%), Clinton (20%) and Richardson (9%). In New Hampshire they like Obama best (29%), Edwards next (26%) and Clinton third (20%). In South Carolina, Clinton is the most popular (38%) to Obama’s 27% and Edwards’ 18%.


The poll shows a high interest in the races across the board ranging from 95% of...

d New Hampshire Democrats to 84% of South Carolina Republicans. They also show more volatility in the GOP race with 72% in Iowa, 50% in New Hampshire and 64% in South Carolina saying they still might change their mind on a candidate.

For Democrats, the change factor is 59% in Iowa, 47% in New Hampshire and 45% in South Carolina.

Nine percent of Iowa and New Hampshire Democrats could never vote for Clinton while 7% felt the same in South Carolina. Five to 8% of Democrats in all three states could never vote for Obama or Edwards.

Among Republicans, 12% in Iowa, 11% in New Hampshire and 8% in South Carolina could never vote for Giuliani, while the respective numbers for McCain were 9%, 10% and 13%, for Thompson 6%, 7% and 4% and for Romney only 4%, 5% and 8%.

Democrats seem to agree that Clinton has the best chance of beating the Republicans in 2008--38% in Iowa, 45% in New Hampshire and 48% in South Carolina. Edwards places second at 23%, 15% and 11% respectively while Obama trails at 14%, 15% and 18%. In Iowa, Obama is beaten by Unsure at 15%.

Romney strikes Iowa Republicans as most likely to win at 28% to Giuliani’s 20%, but Rudy seems more electable to New Hampshire (33%) and South Carolina (31%) Republicans than Romney at 28% and 12%. Thompson seems the second most electable only among South Carolina Republicans (21%), but trails Romney and Giuliani in Iowa (17%) and New Hampshire (10%).


As a previous item today noted, the full story and poll data are available on this website.

--Andrew Malcolm