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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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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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