2008 Poll Madness Begins: Hillary Leads in Key States But Two Rivals Crowd Her

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By: E&P Staff

Just to prepare you for the new year’s press frenzy surrounding the still-distant 2008 race for president, here are latest December poll results in key primary states from American Research Group.

They bring good news for Sen. Hillary Clinton, who leads her closest challengers in Iowa, New Hampshire, and two new “early” deciders, Nevada and South Carolina. But former Sen. John Edwards, who officially threw his hat in the ring yesterday, and undeclared Sen.Barack Obama emerge as key rivals in most states. Meanwhile, the Republican contest remains a tossup.

Clinton leads in Iowa with 31% vs. 20% for Edwards, 17% for homegrown Gov. Tom Vilsack and 10% for Obama. In New Hampshire, she edges Obama by just 27% to 21% and in South Carolina she barely beats Edwards in his birth state by 34% to 31% with Obama at 10%. Finally, in Nevada, she earns 37% with Obama at 10% and nearby Gov. Bill Richardson grabbing only 1% right now.

Inconvenient truth: Al Gore was not includes on the list of candidates in the polls.

On the GOP side it’s pretty much a two-man race right now in the same states. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani edges Sen. John McCain 28% to 26% in Iowa and 31% to 25% in Nevada, but McCain ekes out wins in South Carolina and New Hampshire by similar margins. The only other GOP candidate to score in double digits is former Rep. Newt Gingrich, with 14% in New Hampshire.

The polls were all taken in the period after Dec. 19.

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