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ABC News / Wash. Post Iowa Poll: Romney Up Big, 3-Way Race for Dems

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The first ABC News / Washington Post poll of likely Iowa caucus voters finds it tight at the top on the Democratic side and Mitt Romney with a double-digit lead over his GOP rivals. The poll was conducted July 26-31 among 500 likely Democratic caucus voters (MoE = ± 4.5) and 402 likely Republican caucus voters (MoE = ± 5.0).

For the Democrats, Barack Obama (27 percent) had a 1-point lead—within the margin of error—over John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. This is the first outright lead for Obama in eighteen public opinion polls released by six sponsors since December 2006 (American Research Group, Des Moines Register, KCCI-TV / Research 2000, Mason-Dixon, Zogby). Obama was tied with Edwards at 22 percent in a December 2006 KCCI-TV / Research 2000 poll.

Bill Richardson continues to poll in fourth at 11 percent. Richardson has now polled in double digits in four polls since May 2007. Delaware Senator Joe Biden (2 percent), Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich (2 percent), Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd (1 percent), and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel (0 percent) round out the Democratic field.


The new poll finds Romney with a 25 to 14 percent lead over Rudy Giuliani. Romney has lead in 5 of the 18 polls conducted since December 2006—all since May 2007. Romney has held a double-digit lead in three of them. Fred Thompson received 13 percent.

For just the second time, a public poll of Iowans measured John McCain's support in single digits—just 8 percent. McCain was polling in the mid-20 percent range as late as May 2007. Three second-tier candidates received their highest numbers to date: former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (8 percent), Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo (5 percent), and Kasnsas Senator Sam Brownback (5 percent). Potential candidate Newt Gingrich and former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson received 4 percent, followed by Texas Congressman Ron Paul (2 percent) and California Congressman Duncan Hunter (1 percent).

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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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