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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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Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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