Edwards continues to surge…

DES MOINES, Iowa — John Edwards appears to have risen to a new high point in Iowa, marking an upward trend over the past two weeks that places him in a statistical tie with Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

A new Strategic Vision poll released Friday finds that the former North Carolina senator has the support of 28 percent of likely Democratic cacucus-goers, his best standing in Iowa over the past six months. Edwards now trails Clinton by only one point and Obama by two points, well within the poll’s margin of error of 4.5 percent.

Today’s survey confirms a string of polls in the past two weeks. All demonstrate a steady ascension by Edwards, while Clinton and Obama appear to have stabilized.

The Democratic race in Iowa, more than any time this year, is now absent a clear front-runner.

I would have to say that even if Edwards comes in third, but a strong third in Iowa that should be a victory for his campaign. With (in comparison) very little press coming his way in the past 6 months and most of it going to Clinton and Obama and their ongoing feuds, him moving this close to the top is quite an accomplishment. He has raised far fewer funds than Clinton and Obama and seems to have accomplished much more with much less. The same can be seen on the Republican side, Huckabee has not been a big money guy so far, but still has the small edge going into Thursday.

Will the polls actually reflect what these polls are reflecting or will guys like Paul and Edwards surprise everyone and move up to the front of the pack? It certainly appears to be anyone’s game, and this will be one of the most interesting primary seasons ever.


P.S. Ron and Tom will be back on January 3rd to lay out our predictions, and then again on January 4th to discuss how it all panned out.