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Democratic Race In Early States Tighter Than Ever

Read full story on the MSNBC/McClatchy/Mason-Dixon polls

This set of polls is predicting a “wild ride” in the next six weeks before the voting starts. The only candidate in either party with a lead outside of the margin of error in the big 3 states (Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina) is Republican Mike Huckabee who sports a double-digit lead over his nearest competitor. No Democrat has a lead outside the margin of error in those three states and the Republican races in both New Hampshire and South Carolina are also margin-of-error close.


– **Iowa:** On the Republican side Huckabee nabbed 32 percent, Mitt Romney followed with 20 percent and Fred Thompson was third with 11 percent. John McCain was in fourth with 7 percent and Rudy Giuliani trailed at just 5 percent. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton led with 27 percent, followed by Barack Obama at 25 percent and John Edwards at 21 percent. No other candidate scored double-digits.

– **New Hampshire:** Clinton gets 30 percent to Obama’s 27 percent. Edwards barely cracks double-digits with 10 percent, with one in five primary voters undecided. Romney leads the field with 25 percent, followed by Giuliani at 17 percent, McCain gets 16 percent and Huckabee edges into double-digits with 11 percent. Nearly one in six voters are undecided.

– **South Carolina:** Clinton leads Obama, 28 to 25 percent, with John Edwards scoring a very competitive 18 percent. Huckabee leads with 20 percent, followed very closely by Giuliani at 17 percent, Romney at 15 percent, Thompson at 14 percent and McCain at 10 percent. Nearly one in five S.C. Republicans are undecided, highlighting the fluidity of the race.

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