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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

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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