KEOKUK, Iowa, Jan 1 (Reuters) - Democratic front-runners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, locked in battle in the first state contest on the road to the U.S. presidential nomination, are eyeing first-time caucus participants in Iowa as a key to victory.
The Clinton campaign is appealing to women attending their first political nominating caucus, set for Thursday in Iowa, while the Obama campaign seeks new young voters.
A win in Iowa would provide momentum for candidates seeking to become the Republican and Democratic nominees in the November 2008 election to replace President George W. Bush.
"It's a smart angle by both of those campaigns," said Tracy Osborn, a professor of political science at the University of Iowa. "Barack Obama could bring in minority voters and younger voters and Hillary Clinton is likely to bring in women voters and typically those are groups that don't participate in a caucus."
Clinton, a New York senator and former first lady, leads Iowa's Democratic field with 30 percent, just ahead of Illinois Sen. Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who each polled 26 percent in a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Monday.
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