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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?
Next post: Iowa Congressional Delegation Split in Its Endorsements

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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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