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New Des Moines Register Poll: Great News for Romney; Good News for Edwards and Obama; Bad News for Giuliani and Hillary

    It's only one poll and it's still very early. But the latest Des Moines Register poll of likely caucus goers reveals that voters in the first state may be thinking of turning the race upside down.
    On the GOP side, Mitt Romney has jumped to a double-digit lead in Iowa. If that were to hold, Romney would be the odds-on favorite to win the New Hampshire primary the following week. (He already leads in NH according to several polls.) If that happens, he's the new front-runner. It's true that the likely entry of Fred Thompson, and then Newt Gingrich, will shake up the Iowa race; almost half the GOP likely caucus participants said they'd like to see those two candidates enter the contest. But who on the sidelines beat them both as the new candidate Iowans would most like to see on the ballot? Condi Rice.
    On the Democratic side, John Edwards maintains his lead. The real news is that Barack Obama has passed Hillary Clinton and is now narrowly in second place. (It would be interesting to know exactly where Obama's votes are coming from; it could be that voters in eastern Iowa have heard enough about their Illinois neighbor to be more than intrigued.) Simply put, Hillary cannot afford a third place finish in Iowa because the likely spillover effect into New Hampshire the following week could lead to another defeat that would cripple her candidacy.
    Again, there's a long way to go. But both national front-runners have some work to do in Iowa.

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