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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.

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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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