Daily Iowa Insider: McCain gets in Obama's way
This is really not the news that Barack Obama fans need. John McCain is climbing in the polls, even in Iowa where he isn't liked by mainstream Republicans. If he finishes third or a surprising second, independent voters in New Hampshire will likely choose to vote in the Republican contest instead of selecting a Democratic ballot. Bad news for Obama. The Illinois Senator needs the support of independent voters in New Hampshire in order to beat Hillary, who is still very strong in that state among rank and file Democrats.
So what does this have to do with Iowa? Well, quite simply, it gives Democrats an even greater incentive to care what happens in the Republican race there, as it will affect the next voting state, which casts its ballots just five days later. Anti-Hillary Democrats ought to hope that McCain finishes as poorly as possible in Iowa. An ideal Republican finish in Iowa would consist of Huckabee, Romney and Thompson/Giuliani in the top-three. The latest GOP Iowa poll shows a recent McCain surge.
Mike Huckabee - 28%
John McCain - 20%
Mitt Romney - 17%
Rudolph Giuliani - 13%
In New Hampshire, at the moment, McCain and Romney are tied.