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Obama, Huckabee On Top In Two New Iowa Polls

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With less than three weeks until the Iowa Caucuses, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee continue to build on their rising support over the past few weeks, according to two statewide polls conducted this week.

On the Democratic side, Obama leads Hillary Clinton and John Edwards by nine points each in the new Research 2000 survey, and is tied with Clinton in a new Hotline poll.

Research 2000 (December 10-13, 2007; 500 LV)
Obama = 33%
Edwards = 24%
Clinton = 24%
Richardson = 9%
Biden = 3%
Dodd = 1%
Kucinich = 1%
Gravel = 0%
No opinion = 5%

Hotline (December 7-12, 2007; 569 LV)
Obama = 27%
Clinton = 27%
Edwards = 22%
Richardson = 8%
Biden = 5%
Dodd = 1%
Kucinich = 1%
Gravel = 0%
No opinion = 10%

Obama's momentum occurs during a week which saw many events work in his favor: Oprah Winfrey's endorsement in Des Moines, a televised Democratic debate in which Obama delivered the best line (at Clinton's expense), and a media frenzy critical of the Clinton campaign for a statement released by a (now former) campaign co-chair who raised the specter of Obama's involvement with drugs as a youth.

Edwards, meanwhile, is poised and waiting to leapfrog both Obama and Clinton—hoping to benefit from this tête-à-tête among the frontrunners, adopting a more genial tone and remaining focused on the issues in a state which is known to have a distaste for negative campaigning.

On the Republican side, Huckabee capped off a second week in which he has come out on top in every public poll (Mason-Dixon, Newsweek, Rasmussen, Hotline, Research 2000). There appears to be two races going on: Huckabee and Mitt Romney for first and Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Ron Paul for third.

Research 2000 (December 10-13, 2007; 500 LV)
Huckabee = 31%
Romney = 22%
Giuliani = 9%
Thompson = 9%
McCain = 7%
Paul = 7%
Tancredo = 2%
Hunter = 1%
No opinion = 12%

Hotline (December 7-12, 2007; 446 LV)

Huckabee = 36%
Romney = 23%
Giuliani = 12%
Thompson = 8%
McCain = 5%
Paul = 5%
Tancredo = 1%
Hunter = 0%
No opinion = 10%

Huckabee's strong numbers continue to come largely at the expense of the Thompson-McCain-Giuliani block. Romney's support has remained between 20 percent and 31 percent in 16 of 17 public polls conducted since November. This indicates a good base of support so that if Huckabee should misstep, the former Governor of Massachusetts should be able to carry the Hawkeye State on the road to New Hampshire (where Romney' support has been measured in double-digits in 17 of 19 polls conducted since November).

Previous post: What Will Stop The Huckabee Surge?
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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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