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Romney Doubles Up Nearest Competitor In Latest Zogby Iowa Poll

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For months Mitt Romney's success in early polling in Iowa was attributed to the former Massachusetts governor sinking lots of money into ads in the state. Now, less than 2 months from the caucuses, Romney's lead is as strong as ever, and his nearest competitor is one of the least funded candidates in the race—Mike Huckabee.

The latest Zogby poll, conducted November 6-7 of 410 likely Republican caucus voters, measures Romney's support at 31 percent, about twice as much as Huckabee's 15 percent. Rudy Giuliani comes in third with 11 percent, continuing a decline in support among Hawkeye state caucus voters: Zogby measured Giuliani's support at 25 percent in March, 18 percent in May, and 14 percent in August.

Rounding out the rest of the Republican field are Fred Thompson at 10 percent, John McCain at 8 percent, Ron Paul at 4 percent, Tom Tancredo at 3 percent, and Duncan Hunter at 1 percent. Sixteen percent were undecided.

Nearly all political pundits still predict Giuliani will be the GOP nominee (save the University of Virginia's Larry Sabato, who predicted Romney last month), despite the large leads Romney has opened up in both Iowa and New Hampshire—the first two states in which voting will occur. Romney is also polling ahead of his rivals in the latest South Carolina survey (American Research Group)—another important early primary state.

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Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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