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Huckabee Takes First Lead In National Poll; Even With Romney in Iowa

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The latest Rasmussen survey of 600 likely Republican voters finds Mike Huckabee with his first outright lead in a national poll. Huckabee registered 20 percent support followed by Rudy Giuliani at 17 percent, Mitt Romney and John McCain at 13 percent, Fred Thompson at 10 percent, and Ron Paul at 7 percent.

The "Huckabee Surge"—discussed here at Smart Politics back in October—has now clearly steamrolled from Iowa to across the nation. This surge, however, does not make Huckabee the favorite in the GOP race—his campaign is not particularly well-funded, and, as the Rasmussen numbers suggest, five GOP candidates are bunched within 10 points of each other with no candidate winning more than one-fifth of the support of likely Republican voters. The race is wide open.

Huckabee is also within one point of Romney (26 to 25 percent) in the latest Zogby poll of likely Republican caucus voters in Iowa. Huckabee has now polled at least 22 percent in the last 7 public polls taken of Republicans in Iowa during the past three weeks.

Giuliani (12 percent), Thompson (8 percent), McCain (5 percent), Paul (5 percent), Tom Tancredo (2 percent), and Duncan Hunter (1 percent) round out the filed, with 15 percent undecided.

Previous post: Bill O'Reilly Minimizes Huckabee Surge, Downplays Iowa Caucuses…With Errors
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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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