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And A Third Iowa Poll: Romney Breaks Out

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The third poll of likely Iowa caucus voters released inside of a week solidifies Mitt Romney as the leader of the top-tier Republican presidential hopefuls in the influential Hawkeye State. Romney's support had increased noticeably in polls released by Zogby and KCCI-TV to move him into a statistical tie with frontrunners John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. However, the latest Iowa Poll (sponsored by the Des Moines Register, and conducted May 12-16) gives Romney a whopping double-digit lead over both of his top rivals.

The Iowa Poll found Romney with 30 percent of the support of likely voters, ahead of McCain (18 percent) and Giuliani (17 percent). Since announcing his candidacy, Romney has endured significant criticism among conservative commentators for being seen as an 'unreliable' conservative (due in part to his varied stances on abortion during the course of his political career). However, Republican caucus voters in Iowa have become smitten with the former Massachusetts governor: 74 percent have a favorable view of Romney, while only 13 percent have an unfavorable view.

Also echoing the Zogby and KCCI-TV polls, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson (7 percent) seems to be pulling out of the "second tier" of announced Republican candidates, followed by Sam Brownback (5 percent), Tom Tancredo (4 percent), and Mike Huckabee (4 percent).

John Edwards (29 percent) continues to lead the pack of eight Democratic hopefuls in the new Iowa Poll, with a six-point lead over Barack Obama and an eight-point lead over Hillary Clinton. This is the second largest lead for Edwards as measured by any publicly released poll to date (behind only his 11-point lead in a January Zogby survey).

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who also polled in fourth place in last week's Zogby and KCCI-TV surveys, came in fourth at 10 percent—his highest level of support measured in Iowa thus far.

Previous post: More Iowa Election Polling: Tight at the Top, Dems Leading GOP
Next post: New Lows for Bush in Wisconsin and Iowa

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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