Obama Widens Iowa Lead

Senator gains 4 points in last Register poll before caucuses; Huckabee maintains lead
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2008 11:55 AM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., shakes hands at a campaign stop Monday, Dec. 31, 2007, in Jefferson, Iowa. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama gained on Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in the last Des Moines Register poll before Thursday's Iowa caucuses, pulling 32% of likely caucusgoers, to Clinton's 25% and Edwards' 24%. Obama's widening lead—4 points up from late November and the widest all year—comes in part from a surge of first-time caucusgoers, the Register reports. The GOP survey shows Mike Huckabee maintaining his lead over Mitt Romney, 32% to 26%.

The Democratic hopefuls' feverish efforts to recruit new caucusgoers appear to be paying off: 60% of those polled said they would be attending for the first time. Obama owes 72% of his support to first-timers, Clinton 58%, and Edwards 55%. Still, the race is fluid, with a third of likely caucusgoers saying they could be persuaded to change their votes.