Polling firm Selzer and Co. has released new Iowa polls, showing Mitt Romney surging into a significant lead and John Edwards leading on the Democratic side.
On the Republican side: Romney 30%, McCain 18%, Giuliani 17%. This poll drastically differs from two others conducted during the same time period by Zogby and Research 2000. Those show the top three Republicans all within one or two percentage points.
However, both Zogby and Research 2000 include Fred Thompson in their list of surveyed candidates and Research 2000 also includes Newt Gingrich. Selzer and Co. only includes declared candidates. Taking the Zogby poll and shifting all of Fred Thompson’s support to Romney, one obtains similar numbers to the Selzer and Co. poll. The numbers would be Romney 28%, McCain 18%, and Giuliani 18%. Doing the same with the Research 2000 poll, the numbers would be Romney 31%, McCain 18%, and Giuliani 17%.
These latest polls may indicate social conservatives accepting Romney as the most genuine of the Republican top-tier. Even though Romney has flip-flopped on his positions, something McCain fiercely attacked during the last Republican debate, he at least currently agrees with the social conservative views. Giuliani wants to take the legal, but rare path on abortion and McCain is also perceived as flawed.
Seltzer and Co. has the Democratic field in Iowa as Edwards with 29%, Obama 23%, and Clinton 21%.