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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

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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