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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

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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