Who would have thunk it?, asks Obama before a packed house – Well, we did!

Chicago Sun Times reported Obama speaking to a full house at Iowa State University in beautiful Ames, Iowa. He told the crowd about the latest Des Moines Register poll showing Obama pulling away from his opponents.

“We might just pull this thing off Iowa, who would have thunk it?” he said to wild cheers from the crowd waving Obama signs.

Poll puts Obama farther out in front

January 1, 2008

DES MOINES, Iowa — A poll released Monday night put White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) solidly in the lead for the first time in Iowa, sending him into Thursday’s caucus with newfound momentum.

“It looks like it may be working,” Obama said at a New Year’s Eve rally at Iowa State University in Ames after he learned he led the Des Moines Register final Iowa Poll.

“So we just might pull this this thing off, Iowa. Who would have thunk it?”

While the Democratic front-runners — Obama, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) have been deadlocked for weeks with surveys showing the race in a statistical tie, the Register poll put Obama outside the margin of error.

The poll pegged Obama at 32 percent of likely Democratic caucus goers to 25 percent for Clinton and 24 percent for Edwards. Obama’s six-point lead is the biggest the Register found in a year of polling and is the result of what the paper called a “dramatic influx” of first-time caucusgoers and political independents. A key element of the Obama strategy was to get new voters engaged.

There were about a third who said they may change their mind still and 6 percent undecided.

Lynn Sweet in Des Moines and Abdon Pallasch in Ames

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