The Democratic presidential candidates are pulling close numbers in Iowa polls, with Barack Obama making key gains while Hillary Clinton is slipping on issues such as how to handle the Iraq war. Obama currently leads in the crucial battleground, backed by 30% of Iowa Democrats most likely to caucus, with 26% for Clinton and 22% for John Edwards, reports the Washington Post.
"New direction and ideas" is the election theme most important to 55% of Iowa Democrats and it's most closely associated with Obama. Only 33% pick "strength and experience," associated with Clinton, as the first priority. On who would best handle health care, Clinton enjoys a 51% national lead, but only a 9% lead in Iowa. Clinton and Obama are running nearly neck-and-neck on other important issues like the economy and Social Security.