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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

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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