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Romney, Clinton Lead In New ARG Iowa Poll

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Mitt Romney has opened up a 10-point lead in the latest American Research Group (ARG) poll of likely Republican Iowa caucus voters. Romney had trailed Giuliani by one point in ARG's previous poll in late July, but the former Massachusetts Governor now leads all GOP contenders in the most recent surveys by every public pollster:

ARG: 27-17 over Giuliani (August 26-29)
Zogby: 33-14 over Giuliani (August 17-18)
ABC News / Washington Post: 25-14 over Giuliani (July 26-31)
KCCI-TV / Research 2000: 25-14 over Fred Thompson (June 23-25)
Mason-Dixon: 25-21 over Thompson (June 13-16)
Iowa Poll (Des Moines Register): 29-16 over Giuliani and John McCain (May 12-16)

In the new ARG poll, Mike Huckabee has surged to 14 percent—good for third place. Huckabee had never received more than 2 percent in any of ARG's previous eight surveys, so the former Arkansas Governor is definitely benefiting within the Hawkeye State (if not nationally) from his strong showing in the Iowa Straw Poll conducted earlier in the month.

Fred Thompson, who will be officially launching his presidential campaign on September 6th, was fourth in the new ARG poll with 13 percent, followed by non-candidate Newt Gingirch at 7 percent, Senator John McCain at 5 percent, and Congressmen Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter at 1 percent each.

McCain has tumbled from 29 percent in ARG's March Iowa survey to 26 percent in April, 25 percent in May, 13 percent in June, to just 5 percent this month. In a poll released today by Arizona State University, the Senator is also just barely leading Romney in his home state of Arizona, 24-19 percent.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton leads the pack for the fourth straight monthly ARG poll in Iowa. However, at 28 percent, Clinton's measured support was at its second lowest level across nine polls since December 2006. Barack Obama registered his highest level of support in Iowa at 23 percent, followed by John Edwards (20 percent), Bill Richardson (13 percent), Dennis Kucinich (3 percent), Joe Biden (1 percent), and Chris Dodd (1 percent).

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Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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