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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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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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