The 2008 presidential primary circus continues to frustrate MSM pundits. The races now appear to be a toss up in both parties. But will that soon be put to rest as voters in Iowa make their preferences heard in a few days?

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Call it a brave new world in Iowa presidential politics. The races for both the Republican and Democratic nominations here are toss ups as voting approaches, a double-dose of fluidity unseen in decades. At the same time, the effect of winning – or losing – the leadoff Iowa caucuses in 2008 is anyone’s guess. Will Iowa christen the nominees and give them steam to run the table of rapid-fire primaries? Or will the state set the stage for upsets in next-up New Hampshire five days later? Regardless of the answer, dogfights on both sides are certain in the five weeks until Iowans caucus. A poll released Sunday by The Des Moines Register shows both races in dead heats. With a 4.4 percentage point margin of error, Mike Huckabee had 29 percent to Mitt Romney’s 24 percent and Rudy Giuliani’s 13 percent. Among Democrats, Barack Obama got 28 percent, while Hillary Rodham Clinton had 25 percent, and John Edwards had 23 percent. Other candidates were in single digits. More than half of likely caucus-goers in both races say they could change their minds. A chunk are undecided.
Iowa Contests Tight in Both Parties

In the Democratic race, Clinton, the leader in national and most other state polls, is fighting to keep her illusion of invincibility intact and prevent Obama or Edwards from crippling it with an Iowa victory. Despite the former first lady’s celebrity, Clinton has struggled to break out of the pack here. Edwards is well known to Iowans from his 2004 race, while other Democrats have warmed to Obama’s optimistic message.

If Clinton loses Iowa, the New York senator can rely on her financial and organizational muscle. She’s trying to build a firewall in NH to protect her from an Iowa loss; Obama and Clinton have much less organization there. But the momentum from either of them winning in Iowa could dramatically upend the race. Conversely, a clear win in Iowa for Clinton could cement her front-runner status and prove difficult to beat. — [Hat Tip: AP]