Nov 14, 2007

New poll gives Clinton, Giuiliani edge

A new New York Times/CBS poll shows Democratic voters in Iowa and New Hampshire find both Barack Obama and John Edwards to be more genuine than Hillary Clinton, and therefore less prepared to be president.

Clinton has a lead in both states, although the margin in Iowa is tiny, making for a virtual dead heat between the three leading Democratic contenders.

The results suggest Democrats are having another John Kerry moment in trying to decide whether to settle on the electable rather than the inspiring. Clinton's antisocial campaign style has given her the edge on this front, as her overcareful ways give her a dangerous appearance - she's the most likely to pull a knife from her bootstrap at the first sign of swift-boaters.

According to the poll "80 percent of Iowa voters described (Clinton) as prepared to be president, compared with 68 percent who said that of Mr. Edwards and just 42 percent who said that of Mr. Obama." That's a tall hill to climb for O and E.

Camille Paglia over at sees weakness in Clinton's strategy, but her argument seems to require a fundamental shift in media coverage to gain traction.

Republicans, meantime, are doing their own vacillating between idealism and pragmatism. Rudy Giuliani, generally seen as the stronger general-election candidate, leads in New Hampshire. Mitt Romney, seen as more of the conservative's conservative, leads in Iowa. But Romney has to fend off an ascendant Mike Huckabee, who has the twin advantage of being a true conservative and not Mormon.

All in all, the poll suggests the audacity of caution will once again win the day.

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