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FixCam Week in Preview: It All Comes Down to This

After more weeks -- and "weeks in preview" -- then we care to remember, we are down to the final stretch with just 24 days separating us from the Iowa caucuses.

And, it is Iowa where the top-tier campaigns will be made or broken over the next three weeks and three days. This week is an absolutely critical one for each of the candidates because on back-to-back days the Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Television host debates.

Republicans go first on Wednesday; Democrats follow on Thursday. The debates will be live at 1 p.m. (Central Time) and then rebroadcast later in the day.

New polling out over the weekend shows just how tight Iowa is for Democrats. A new Mason-Dixon/MSNBC/McClatchy poll put Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) at 27 percent, followed by Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) at 25 percent and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) at 21 percent. This survey shows what every other poll out of Iowa has in recent weeks -- it's a three-way jump ball.

For Republicans, the surge of former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) continues -- he now holds a 32 percent to 20 percent lead over fellow former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.). Former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.) is in a distant third at 11 percent, according to Mason-Dixon/MSNBC/McClatchy.

With Iowa heating up -- in a figurative if not literal sense -- The Fix is headed out to the Hawkeye State tomorrow to take in the debates, catch the candidates on the stump and maybe even find time for the best breakfast in the state at the Brick Haus in the Amana Colonies.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 9, 2007; 9:23 AM ET
Categories:  FixCam  
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