Obama Ties Hillary Nationally, Leads by 20 in SC and Gets More Secret Service Too
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Great news for Barack Obama this morning, and it's likely to be more good news when the New Hampshire results come in tonight. The national poll numbers took a big leap upward for him, and he's leading by a ton in South Carolina. Hey, and they've increased Secret Service protection for Obama, too.
Its still early. The only results we have in New Hampshire are from Dixville Notch, and that counts, but just a little bit. Barack Obama got 7 of the 10 votes there on the Democratic side (McCain won on the Republican side). Perhaps this says something about the entire New Hampshire vote, but I'm willing to wait until the end of the day for that. Still, the USA Today/Gallup poll, the first national one since Barack Obama's Iowa caucus vitory, shows better news. From the Guardian:
Barack Obama has erased Hillary Clinton's once-formidable nationwide advantage and the two Democrats now are tied for their party's lead, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released today.
Obama and Clinton both won 33% in the national poll, which was conducted after the Illinois senator's decisive win in the Iowa caucus, while John Edwards took 20%. The poll also showed Mike Huckabee vaulting to the front of the Republican field on the strength of his Iowa win, with Mitt Romney dropping to single digits after his second-place finish there.
The formidable bounce for Obama, who trailed the former first lady by 18% in Gallup's mid-December national poll, mirrors a SurveyUSA poll released today that shows him taking 50% to Clinton's 30% in the South Carolina primary on January 26. The two were tied in a similar poll taken three weeks ago in the state, where Edwards won in 2004 but now takes only 17%.
The surge of national support for Obama comes at the worst possible time for Clinton, who has often touted her nationwide lead as proof that she is the most viable Democratic candidate in a general election. In addition, the poll's 5% national gain for Edwards offers some evidence that his strategy of aligning with Obama as "change" candidates-thus boxing out Clinton-has worked.
It's also Obama's day because Huckabee is still growing in strength, too. The dream opponent for any Democrat is Mike Huckabee, of course, and while Barack Obama is beating almost any Republican opponent in almost every state polled by Survey USA, he's absolutely creaming Huckabee. (Yeah, the Republican love affair with the Christian Right is coming home to roost with the support of Huckabee, support that, if it is successful, will lead to a Republican losxs bigger than any in a century.)