According to the latest polls from around the country, there seems to be bad news and good news for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. First, the bad news. The last several national polls of likely Democratic voters seem to be consistent. They all show Hillary Clinton leading the pack by an average of approximately 20 percentage points. That’s up from an average of about 12 or 13 points in those same polls about a month ago.
Now, the good news. Obama now seems to be doing better than ever in many of the states that hold early primaries and caucuses. He is actually leading by one point in the latest poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers. That’s the first time he’s ever been show with any kind of lead there. John Edwards had been thought to the frontrunner there.
In the latest poll from New Hampshire, the first state that will hold a presidential primary, he is tied with Clinton. In most previous polls of the Granite State, he had been shown to be trailing by as many as 10 points. The latest poll from another early primary state, South Carolina, has him leading by four points. Clinton had previously been sporting a double-digit lead in that state.
I believe Obama is likely very pleased with what these polls are showing right now. He probably feels that he is now positioned right where he needs to be. He knows that wins in a couple of those early states would render Clinton’s current dominance of the national polls meaningless. In fact, Obama victories in, say, New Hampshire and South Carolina would cause Clinton’s lead to melt away like fog on a warm summer morning.