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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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Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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