Latest: Fox News is reporting that Obama is now polling ahead of Hillary in Iowa.
For Democrats, there may be a shift from issues being important to character being important. Also, Obama may have hit on a good strategy, going after Hillary on the character and experience (lack of) issues.Iowa Democrats are tilting toward change, and Obama appears to be benefiting from it.
Fifty-five percent of those surveyed reported that a “new direction and new ideas” are their top priority, compared with 33 percent who favored “strength and experience.” That is a shift from July, when 49 percent sought change and 39 percent experience.
Nationally, Clinton is viewed as a candidate of change, with support from 41 percent of Democrats seeking a new direction in a recent Post-ABC poll. But in Iowa, Obama dominates the “change” vote, winning 43 percent of that group, compared with 25 percent for Edwards and 17 percent for Clinton.
She appears more vulnerable on questions of character. Thirty-one percent found Obama to be the most honest and trustworthy, about double the percentage who said the same of Clinton. While about three-quarters credited both Obama and Edwards with speaking their mind on issues, only 50 percent said Clinton is willing enough to say what she really thinks. Forty-five percent said she is not sufficiently candid.
Overall, the poll points to some strategic gains for Obama. His support is up eight percentage points since July among voters 45 and older — who accounted for two-thirds of Iowa caucus-goers in 2004.