An Associated Press-Ipsos poll – conducted Jan. 15-17 before votes in Nevada and South Carolina – showed that John McCain jumped from 13 percent support last month to lead the GOP pack now with 22 percent. Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney tied at 16 percent. Rudy Giuliani, the onetime leader with 26 percent, has dropped to 14 percent. The poll said these dynamics were at play: McCain “posted gains among moderates and conservatives alike, as well as men, married Republicans and suburbanites. He did not see an uptick among evangelicals; Huckabee continues to hold a strong lead among them. No one Republican candidate has an edge among women; Giuliani used to have a hold on that group.” Margin of error is 5.2 percent.
Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton leads with 40 percent but Barack Obama has climbed 10 points since the last survey to 33 percent. John Edwards is at 13 percent. Obama has now made more competitive several voting blocs where Clinton had held a lead – such as minorities, young people, and Midwesterners. Clinton maintains a slight edge among women, low-income and lesser-educated Democrats, while losing some support among Democratic-leaning independents and self-described moderates. Margin of error is 4.5 percent.