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Terrorism, Immigration Key Issues to Iowa Republican Caucus Vote Choice

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A new ABC News / Washington Post poll finds terrorism and illegal immigration topping the list of most important issues determining vote choice among likely Iowa Republican caucus voters.

Fourteen percent cited terrorism and national security issues as the most important factor, while thirteen percent cited illegal immigration in the survey conducted November 14-18.

A November 12th Rasmussen poll of likely caucus voters in Iowa found Republicans nearly of one mind when it comes to illegal immigration - a subject which has been one of the most frequently visited in GOP (and Democratic) debates. In Iowa, 91 percent of Republicans caucus voters believe undocumented workers should not be allowed to receive driver's licenses, according to the Rasmussen poll. Eight-six percent believe police officers should be able to check a person's immigration status if pulled over for a traffic violation, and, if determined to be illegal, 76 percent believe they should then be deported.

Other top issues driving Iowa Republican vote choice include abortion (10 percent), the war in Iraq (10 percent), the economy and jobs (9 percent), health care (8 percent), morals and family values (7 percent), and taxes (6 percent).

The ABC News poll confirmed the results reported by other public polls this month—Mitt Romney (28 percent) holding a narrow lead over the surging Mike Huckabee (24 percent), with the rest of the field trailing in double digits. Fred Thompson (15 percent), Rudy Giuliani (13 percent) John McCain (6 percent), Ron Paul (6 percent), Tom Tancredo (2 percent), and Duncan Hunter (1 percent) complete the GOP field.

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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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