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McClatchy/MSNBC Poll: Huckabee Up Double Digits In Iowa

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The story in Iowa during the past week to ten days was how Mike Huckabee had surpassed Mitt Romney in some Republican caucus polls in Iowa. The story this week is that this lead has now extended to double digits. A new McClatchy/MSNBC poll conducted by Mason-Dixon stakes Huckabee to a 12-point lead over Romney, 32 to 20 percent, in a survey of 400 likely voters.

Huckabee had previously led Romney by single digits in the latest Des Moines Register and Rasmussen polls, while Romney had a statistically insignificant 1-point lead over Huckabee in the latest American Research Group and Zogby surveys. A new Newsweek poll released this weekend found Huckabee ahead by a staggering 22 points; that poll, however, included 'leaners,' and was conducted of a sample of just 275 likely Republican voters (with a very large margin of error of plus or minus 7 points).

In the new McClatchy/MSNBC poll Fred Thompson drew 11 percent support, followed by John McCain at 7 percent, Rudy Giuliani at 5 percent, Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul at 2 percent, and Duncan Hunter and Alan Keyes at 1 percent. Nineteen percent were still undecided. Due to the extremely competitive and volatile GOP field, most state polls have found a much larger number of undecided Republican voters than Democratic voters.

Giuliani's fall in the Hawkeye state to 5 percent in this new poll is noteworthy: the former frontrunner in the Hawkeye State was polling as high as 21 percent in late September, but now appears to be conceding the state in what campaign insiders have now admitted to be a 'flawed strategy' of looking ahead to Florida and the Super Tuesday February 5th contests.

The McClatchy/MSNBC poll found less movement on the Democratic side—it's still a three-way race: Hillary Clinton (27 percent), Barack Obama (25 percent), and John Edwards (21 percent) lead the way followed by Bill Richardson (9 percent), Joe Biden (5 percent), Chris Dodd (1 percent) and Dennis Kucinich (1 percent). Just 11 percent of likely Democratic caucus voters were undecided. The poll was conducted with an end date of Thursday, December 6th—two days before Oprah Winfrey endorsed Obama in Des Moines.

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Remains of the Data

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Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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