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ARG Iowa Poll: Clinton Up 14; 3-Way GOP Race

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As further proof of how things can change in Iowa at the drop of a hat, the latest polling by American Research Group (ARG) finds the former 3-way Democratic race now showing a 14-point Hillary Clinton advantage, and the former duel between Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney now a 3-way race with John McCain.

The poll, conducted December 20-23 of 600 likely Republican and 600 likely Democratic caucus voters, finds Clinton apparently surging after a very shaky last few months with mediocre debate performances and actions by her campaign leaders that have been routinely criticized by the media.

The 34 percent support received by Clinton in the new survey is the highest mark in the monthly ARG poll since late January 2007 (35 percent). Clinton is followed by John Edwards at 20 percent, Barack Obama at 20 percent, Joe Biden at 8 percent, Bill Richardson at 5 percent, and Chris Dodd and Dennis Kucinich at 2 percent each. Ten percent of likely Democratic caucus participants remain undecided.

On the Republican side, the few weeks of attacks against Iowa frontrunner Mike Huckabee are apparently beginning to take their toll. Huckabee's support, at 23 percent, is at its lowest in the last 4 ARG polls. Romney, at 21 percent, polls within the margin of error, followed by McCain at 17 percent. McCain had been written off in Iowa a month ago—polling at just 9 percent in the late November ARG survey (and as low as 5 percent in other surveys of Iowans conducted during the past 4 weeks).

McCain is followed by Rudy Giuliani (14 percent), and Ron Paul, who, at 10 percent, is at his personal high-water mark in Iowa polling to date. Fred Thompson (3 percent), Duncan Hunter (2 percent), and Alan Keyes (2 percent) round out the GOP field with 8 percent still undecided—the lowest number of undecided Republican caucus voters in 15 ARG polls conducted during the past year.

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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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