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Another Day, Another Two New Polls of Iowans

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Two new polls were released Thursday for the presidential race in Iowa, by Rasmussen and American Research Group (ARG), each showing a battle unfolding at the top of the Democratic and Republican tickets.

On the Democratic side, a new Rasmussen poll of 1,239 likely voters found Hillary Clinton at 29 percent, narrowly edging out John Edwards (25 percent) and Barack Obama (24 percent). In the ARG poll of 600 likely voters, Clinton received 27 percent, compared to 21 percent to Obama and 20 percent for Edwards. Bill Richardson (10 percent, 12 percent) and Joe Biden (3 percent, 5 percent) rounded out the top five candidates in the Rasmussen and ARG polls respectively.

Only ARG released results on the GOP side of the ticket today, with Mike Huckabee (24 percent) now within just two points of Mitt Romney (26 percent). Huckabee's surge (discussed here at Smart Politics on October 30th), is throwing a wrench the in the Romney plan: sweeping the small, early states to gain momentum on national frontrunner Rudy Giuliani as the primaries head into Florida and California in late January and early February 2008.

Huckabee's numbers are up 5 points from just two weeks ago in the previous ARG poll and up 20 points since the end of September. Romney's support has remained steady in the Hawkeye State, coming in at 27 percent in ARG's August survey, 22 percent in September, 27 percent in October and 26 percent this week.

Giuliani continues to lag in Iowa at 11 percent—his lowest total (by five points) in Iowa as measured by ARG in 12 surveys since December 2006. Giuliani was tied with Fred Thompson and one point ahead of John McCain (10 percent). Giuliani has not launched a media campaign in Iowa to date, while Romney started his media buys several months ago.

Ron Paul (3 percent), Tom Tancredo (1 percent), and Duncan Hunter (1 percent) round out the GOP field in the ARG survey.

Previous post: Latest IA Poll: Dem. Caucus Heats Up; Romney in Sight For Huckabee
Next post: Richardson and Obama Unlikely to Bolster Support in Iowa After CNN Debate

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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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