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Romney Continues to Lead GOP Pack in Iowa; Dem. Field Remains Tight

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In the first public opinion poll taken during the month of June of likely Iowa caucus voters, Mitt Romney continues his surge atop the Republican field. The firm of Mason Dixon (in their first Iowa poll of Election 2008) reports Romney receives the support of 25 percent of Iowa Republicans, with Fred Thompson at 21 percent and Rudy Giuliani at 15 percent. In four polls released last month, Romney was polling in the mid- to high teens in three of them (American Research Group, KCCI-TV / Research 2000, Zogby), and reached 30 percent in another (Iowa Poll).

Thompson's surge in Iowa complements his rising poll numbers in recent national surveys released this month (e.g. 28 percent in the latest Rasmussen poll, 21 percent in an LA Times poll, 20 percent in a mid-June NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, and 19 percent in a USA Today / Gallup poll).

At just 6 percent, John McCain—who led the GOP field in early Iowa polling after last November's elections—is now in a virtual tie for fourth place with Mike Huckabee (7 percent) and Sam Brownback (6 percent). This flatlining of support for McCain in the Hawkeye State demonstrates just how much polling numbers can shift in a short period of time as voters gradually begin to tune in to the Election 2008 campaigns; there are now less than 7 months until the Iowa caucuses.

Mason Dixon finds the Democratic field to be very tight at the top, as it has been throughout the spring, with Hillary Clinton (22 percent), John Edwards (21 percent) and Barack Obama (18 percent) in dead heat.

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