And we‘ll repeat the 8:00 update from the decision desk based upon early entrants poll results, Huckabee and Romney are fighting for first place in the Republican straw poll and Governor Romney might have more than his hair to worry about. According to the last batch of polling heading into the caucuses, this is stuff from last night and this morning, Governor Huckabee had expanded his lead in the poll to six points according to the Reuters/C-SPAN, Zogby poll which was released this morning. 31 percent to Governor Romney‘s 25 percent with former Tennessee Senator Thompson at third in 11 percent in this poll, apparently ahead of Arizona Senator John McCain at 10 percent. Again, this is precaucus polling only you‘re seeing.
In the Democratic race Senator Obama at 31 percent. Edwards, 27. Clinton, 24. It gets worse for Senator Clinton when that 15 percent threshold is factored in. Once those had supported the nonviable candidates are asked to name a second choice in, again, the precaucus polling, this is not even entrance polling material, that gap becomes even wider. Obama leads 6.5 points. Edwards bounds 6.7. Mrs. Clinton would gain only 4.8 points.
And according to the results of a complex statistical model built by Christopher Hull of Georgetown University‘s department of government, author of “Grassroots Rules: How the Iowa Caucus Helps Elect American Presidents,” the 2008 caucuses are estimated mathematically to finish this. Among the Democrats, Obama 35 percent, Clinton 25 percent, Edwards 23 percent. The Republican field, Romney 39 percent, Huckabee 32 percent, Paul 11 percent in what would be a huge upset and McCain dropping to fourth at nine percent.
Tim Russert joins Keith from Iowa.