Romney Catapults To Big Lead In Iowa After Straw Poll Victory

In the first public poll conducted after the Iowa Republican Straw Poll, Mitt Romney has jumped out to his biggest lead to date. Romney, who won the straw poll with 32 percent, received 33 percent of the support of likely Iowa Republican caucus voters, in a telephone survey conducted by Zogby from August 17 to 18th (one week after the Straw Poll). The former Massachusetts governor had never previously reached 30 percent in any public poll in Iowa, and his 33 percent is the highest level of measured support garnered by any Republican candidate in polling of Republican caucus voters in the Hawkeye State.

Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson—each a non-participant in the Straw Poll—came in at 14 percent and 12 percent respectively. Giuliani—the national frontrunner for the GOP who frequently polled in the 20+ percent range in Iowa earlier in the year, had also fallen below 15 percent in the most recent surveys by ABC News / Washington Post and KCCI-TV / Research 2000.

John McCain—who also did not participate in the Straw Poll—fell to a fifth place showing at 6 percent in the Zogby poll. The McCain campain has struggled throughout most of 2007, both in fundraising and drumming up strong grassroots support. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who used his 2nd place Straw Poll finish to cash in on a fair amount of national publicity, received 8 percent for 4th place in the new poll. This marked Huckabee’s highest level of support in a public poll, also achieved at the end of July in the ABC News / Washington Post survey.

Sam Brownback (4 percent), Tom Tancredo (3 percent), Ron Paul (3 percent), and Duncan Hunter (1 percent) round out the GOP field. Fourteen percent of likely Republican caucus voters were unsure for whom they would vote.

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