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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

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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