clinton’s mojo

If Hillary Clinton’s recent showing in Iowa is any indication, husband Bill still got his mojo. With the help of the former President, who actively campaigned in July throughout the hawk-eye state, Hillary is now surging in Iowa and chipping away at John Edwards’ formidable lead in this key state.

The latest Iowa University poll shows Clinton leading with 27 percent of the vote, with Edwards and Obama trailing by five percentage points. In another poll, Clinton is in a virtual deadheat with the other two leading candidates. In averaging the four polls taken thus far in third quarter 2007, Hillary leads with 26.3 percent of the vote, followed by Edwards at 24 percent. (Click on table below)

polls_2007_03.jpg

What is new about the four most recent polls is that Hillary’s numbers don’t exhibit the wild roller-coaster fluctuations that characterized her numbers in the months leading up to July.

In ten polls conducted during second quarter 2007, Clinton averaged a respectable 23.6 percent to Edwards’ 26.5 percent. But her second place average was based on numbers that fluctuated wildly, which resulted in a standard deviation that at 5.2 was significantly higher than Edwards’ standard deviation of 2.2. (See below for a discussion on standard deviation). In addition to scoring high poll numbers, candidates want to avoid fluctuating numbers as consistent returns across numerous polls indicate a core base of voters.

The chart below visually displays the difference between Clinton and Edwards. For the most part, Edwards’ poll numbers when plotted on a graph describe a smooth line, particularly between March 19th and June 30th. Edwards’ fluctuations are small compared to Clinton, whose Iowa numbers prior to July fluctuate wildly — up and down, and up and down again. (Click on chart below)

polls_2007_041.jpg

While Edwards continues to garner solid support from core group of Iowa voters, Clinton’s numbers up to now suggested a certain amount of fickleness toward her. But in the four most recent polls, Hillary’s numbers are fairly consistent (and high) suggesting that she may be in the beginning stages of turning the corner in Iowa. At 3.3, her standard deviation for the most recent polls is significantly lower than 1st and 2nd quarters figures of 8.2 and 5.2 respectively.

While it’s too early to say for sure if Hillary will continue her strong showing since the analysis is based on four polls only, one thing that is certain is the relationship between Bill Clinton and the lessening of Iowa voters unease toward Hillary. Re-assured by the presence of the much-loved former president, Iowa voters have rewarded Clinton with consistently high polling figures since July 1, although what happens next remains to be seen.

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