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U.S. presidential hopefuls make final push before first caucuses
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10:44, January 01, 2008

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The leading U.S. presidential contenders are making the final push as the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses approach this Thursday.

In an interview published Monday in the USA Today, Republican Mike Huckabee, essentially tied with Mitt Romney in Iowa polls, questioned his rival's integrity and credibility.

Meanwhile, Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, also locked in a dead heat, each argued they are best able to deliver the change voters want.

Nine presidential hopefuls crisscrossed Iowa last Sunday attending church services, doing TV interviews and stumping at rallies in high school gyms in a final push for the contest that is likely to reshape the race, boosting the winners and damaging the also-rans.

A McClatchy/MSNBC Poll of likely caucus-goers taken Wednesday through Friday showed Edwards at 24 percent, Clinton at 23 percent and Obama at 22 percent.

That reflects a gain for Edwards since early December.

Among Republicans, Romney had rebounded to 27 percent as Huckabee dipped to 23 percent.

Former Senator Fred Thompson (R- Tenn.) was at 14 percent and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) at 13 percent.

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and Texas Rep. Ron Paul were each at 5 percent.

Iowa will stage the first-in-the-nation caucuses on Jan. 3, the first of the state-by-state contests to choose Republican and Democratic nominees for the November 2008 presidential election.

Source: Xinhua

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