12/03/2007 - Democrats enter the presidential primary campaign upbeat about their candidates and united in their views on major issues. Sen. Hillary Clinton is the clear frontrunner in New Hampshire and South Carolina, where she holds 19-point and 14-point leads, respectively. However in Iowa she is in a statistical tie with Barack Obama.
Clinton has a clear advantage on the key issue of health care, and leads among Democratic women voters in all three states – where women constitute majorities of the likely caucus and primary electorates. Her lead is also particularly wide among older voters – voters over age 50 in all three states favor her over Obama by more than two-to-one.
Overall, Clinton's standing in Iowa and New Hampshire is no better than Howard Dean's at a comparable point in the 2004 presidential campaign. However, Clinton has stronger support in all three states than did the former Vermont governor. Indeed, there is considerably more strong support for each of the three leading Democratic candidates in Iowa – Clinton, Obama and John Edwards – than there was for Dean and the other leading Iowa contenders four years ago.
Read full report Democratic Primary Preview: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina on Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site