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Romney Catapults To Big Lead In Iowa After Straw Poll Victory

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In the first public poll conducted after the Iowa Republican Straw Poll, Mitt Romney has jumped out to his biggest lead to date. Romney, who won the straw poll with 32 percent, received 33 percent of the support of likely Iowa Republican caucus voters, in a telephone survey conducted by Zogby from August 17 to 18th (one week after the Straw Poll). The former Massachusetts governor had never previously reached 30 percent in any public poll in Iowa, and his 33 percent is the highest level of measured support garnered by any Republican candidate in polling of Republican caucus voters in the Hawkeye State.

Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson—each a non-participant in the Straw Poll—came in at 14 percent and 12 percent respectively. Giuliani—the national frontrunner for the GOP who frequently polled in the 20+ percent range in Iowa earlier in the year, had also fallen below 15 percent in the most recent surveys by ABC News / Washington Post and KCCI-TV / Research 2000.

John McCain—who also did not participate in the Straw Poll—fell to a fifth place showing at 6 percent in the Zogby poll. The McCain campain has struggled throughout most of 2007, both in fundraising and drumming up strong grassroots support. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who used his 2nd place Straw Poll finish to cash in on a fair amount of national publicity, received 8 percent for 4th place in the new poll. This marked Huckabee's highest level of support in a public poll, also achieved at the end of July in the ABC News / Washington Post survey.

Sam Brownback (4 percent), Tom Tancredo (3 percent), Ron Paul (3 percent), and Duncan Hunter (1 percent) round out the GOP field. Fourteen percent of likely Republican caucus voters were unsure for whom they would vote.

Previous post: Zogby Poll: Clinton Surges to Top in Iowa
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Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


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