New Iowa Polls Put Clinton Up Big, but the Numbers Are Phony

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There’s been a minor splash because of two new polls that seemingly contradict the Obama surge in Iowa.

The first is an AP-Pew poll that has the three-way race looking like this: Clinton 31%, Obama 26%, Edwards 19%

The second is an Iowa State University poll that is even more startling: Clinton 31%, Edwards 24%, Obama 20%

Here’s the catch. The AP-Pew poll was conducted November 7-25. Some of the results there are two to three weeks old. The Iowa State University poll was conducted November 6-18. All of the results there are two to three weeks old. They all predate the juvenation the Obama campaign has gotten going in Iowa these past few weeks.

More current numbers all show the race tied or with Obama leading slightly. An American Research Group poll conducted 11/26-11/29 has Obama 27%, Clinton 25%, Edwards 23%. A Des Moines Register poll conducted 11/25-11/28 has Obama 28%, Clinton 25%, Edwards 23%. A Rasmussen poll conducted 11/26-11/27 has Clinton 27%, Obama 25%, Edwards 24%.

The average, according to Real Clear Politics, is dead even: Obama 27.5%, Clinton 27.2%, Edwards 22.3%.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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