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Clinton, Obama, Romney Get Bump in New IA Poll

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Five weeks and an official announcement of her candidacy later, Hillary Clinton has increased her early advantage over John Edwards in a new poll of likely Democratic Iowa Caucus voters by American Research Group.

Clinton, who declared her run for the presidency approximately one week before the poll's field dates, expanded her 11-point 31-20 lead over Edwards to 17 points (35-18) in the new February poll. Barak Obama's support also increased from 10 to 14 percent. Homegrown former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack continues to languish behind these favorites—with his support declining from 17 to 12 percent. A recent Iowa Poll by the Des Moines Register found more Iowans do not want Vilsack to run for president (47 percent) than do (40 percent).

On the Republican side, likely GOP Caucus voters still give Rudy Giuliani the nod (27 percent) even though the former federal prosecutor and New York City mayor has not yet officially entered the race. The only positive movement in the new February poll was towards former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney—whose support increased from 6 to 11 percent.

As a reminder of the volatility in the Iowa Caucuses, consider this: these Iowa polls are nearly 12 months out from Caucus Day. In polls by American Research Group ending just four days before the Caucuses in 2004, John Kerry polled at 21 percent and John Edwards polled at 22 percent. Kerry ended up with 38 percent of the Caucus vote and Edwards with 32 percent in a huge 11th hour shift in momentum towards those candidates—and away from Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean.

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Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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