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McCain Opens Up First Lead Over Giuliani in Iowa

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Despite trailing Rudy Giuliani in most national polls by double digits, Arizona Senator and Republican presidential candidate John McCain has opened up his first lead over the former New York City mayor in the Hawkeye State, 26 to 19 percent (American Research Group, April 27-30). Two months ago, the ARG poll had Giuliani leading 31-23, with McCain closing the gap at 29-29 in mid-March.

McCain's recent surge in Iowa parallels the strong early support he is receiving in two other influential primary states: New Hampshire and South Carolina. Late-April ARG polling shows McCain leading Giuliani by 12 points in New Hampshire (Giuliani also trails Mitt Romney by 7 points) and by 13 points in South Carolina.

These polls give a much needed boost to McCain supporters, who find their candidate trailing Giuliani nationally by 11 points in an NBC / WSJ poll (April 20-23), 11 points in a Pew poll (April 18-22), and 19 points in a Fox News poll (April 17-18).

The hope, for McCain, is that a clean sweep of the high-profile Iowa Caucus (January 14, 2008) and early primaries in New Hampshire (January 22, 2008) and South Carolina (February 2, 2008) will propel him into a much stronger finish on "Mega-Tuesday" (February 5, 2008), when at least 15 states will hold elections for over 800 Republican delegates, including Giuliani-friendly (and delegate rich) states like New York, New Jersey, and California.

In Iowa, Mitt Romney earned 14 percent of the support in the ARG poll of likely Republican caucus voters—his highest level of support to date. Not-yet-official candidate Fred Thompson was the only other Republican in double digits, with 13 percent.

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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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