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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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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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