Sunday, December 30, 2007

New NBC Poll: Romney ahead in Iowa

NBC Iowa Poll

Among Republicans:

• Former Massachusetts Gov. Romney has 27 percent;
• Former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee has 23 percent;
• Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson has 14 percent;
• Sen. John McCain of Arizona has 13 percent;
• Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has 5 percent;
• Rep. Ron Paul of Texas has 5 percent;
• Rep. Duncan Hunter of California has 1 percent.
• Undecided: 12 percent.

One in three Iowa Republicans say they could still change their minds.

No one knows that better than Huckabee, who surged into the lead three weeks ago and now has lost it just as quickly. Huckabee’s support dropped 8 percentage points since the last McClatchy/MSNBC poll Dec. 3-6.

A major reason why is that he’s come under sharp criticism from rivals such as Romney, been blistered as a tax raiser in a $500,000 ad campaign aired by the anti-tax group Club For Growth, and faced new scrutiny by the media of his Arkansas record on such issues as pardons.

He still ranks tops among Iowa Republicans who rank values and family issues their top concerns.

But while the ordained Baptist preacher still leads among the state’s influential evangelical Christians, he’s lost 8 points among them.

Romney, who had led in the state for months before dropping to second place, regained 7 points since early December.

Iowa Republicans gave him their highest favorable rating, and he ranked first among GOP voters looking for experience, leadership and the ability to win in November.

He also led among voters who ranked immigration, taxes or terrorism their top concerns.
A key gain:

He now has the support of 27 percent of the state’s evangelical Christian Republicans, up sharply from 8 percent several weeks ago.

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