Richardson surge

Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who has put more resources into Nevada than other candidates, is showing signs of breaking out of the second tier of candidates. In the first caucus state of Iowa, Richardson is in fourth place with 13 percent in the nine-candidate field in a Des Moines Register survey. When the poll is weighted for the most likely caucus-goers, Richardson has moved out in front of Barack Obama with 18 percent (John Edwards is in first place, followed by Hillary Clinton). The newspaper reported that the survey showed Richardson’s support becoming “firm.”

The Register survey is closely watched because caucuses are more difficult to poll than presidential primaries, and the newspaper has been doing such surveys since 1972.

Last month, Richardson moved ahead of Edwards in the first primary state of New Hampshire with an 11-point showing in a CNN survey. Richardson, who did poorly in early Democratic debates, topped Clinton 32 to 30 percent in a survey after a debate on New Hampshire’s KMUR.

In the Nevada caucuses, Richardson moved from 2 percent in March to 11 percent in August in a Reno Gazette-Journal survey.