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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.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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