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Iowa Poll: More Good News For Huckabee and Obama

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The latest Des Moines Register Iowa Poll finds Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama atop the fields of their respective parties, continuing the momentum for each candidate chronicled in other public polls released during the past week.

The poll, conducted November 25-28 of 500 likely Democratic and 500 likely Republican caucus voters, finds Obama (28 percent), Hillary Clinton (25 percent), and John Edwards (23 percent) once again bunched within 5 points of one another. This continues the trend found by other surveys released during the past week of a close three-way race for the Democratic nod in Iowa. The latest American Research Group (ARG) poll found a 4-point spread among the three candidates with Obama on top, while the latest Rasmussen poll found a 3-point spread with Clinton on top.

Bill Richardson registered 9 percent in the new poll, followed by Joe Biden at 6 percent, and Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd at 1 percent each.

Although only 7 percent of respondents were undecided, it should be noted the Des Moines Register poll includes 'leaners' in its findings—those who do not initially express a particular candidate preference. Of those polled who ultimately stated a preference (some after a follow-up question prompt), more than half of the likely Democratic caucus voters stated they could change their mind by January 3rd.

On the Republican side Mike Huckabee makes his case as the new 'comeback kid' from Arkansas—leading the field with 29 percent in the new poll. Huckabee also led in last week's Rasmussen poll and trailed Romney by a statistically insignificant 1 point in last week's ARG survey.

In the Des Moines Register poll, Mitt Romney now trails by 5 points at 24 percent, followed by Rudy Giuliani at 13 percent, Fred Thompson at 9 percent, and John McCain and Ron Paul tied at 7 percent. Tom Tancredo, who has led the anti-illegal immigration charge that has taken on such an important role in the primary debates, came in seventh at 6 percent—the highest level of support he has received in any public poll of Iowans to date. Duncan Hunter received 1 percent with 4 percent undecided. Nearly 60 percent of Republican caucus voters stated they could be convinced to switch allegiances prior to Caucus Day.

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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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