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Fred Thompson: A Promising Non-Candidate in Iowa

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The latest public poll for the Iowa Republican Caucus by American Research Group includes a new name in the mix: former Senator (and longtime actor) Fred Thompson. Thompson—not to be confused with former Wisconsin Governor and ex-Bush cabinet member Tommy Thompson—has not announced his candidacy, but is being encouraged to run by several elites within the GOP.

Thompson is considered to be a viable candidate because he is not considered to be too liberal for the GOP base (i.e. Giuliani's potential problem), he is not a party outsider (e.g. John McCain), nor does he have high unfavorable numbers like some potential conservative candidates (e.g. Newt Gingrich).

In the ARG Iowa poll Giuliani and McCain continue to lead the pack at 29 percent each. Thompson comes in third at 12 percent, besting Mitt Romney by 2 points. With the addition of Thompson, support for several traditional conservatives in the field fell sharply, apparently losing support to Thompson. In last month's ARG poll Gingrich, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee garnered a collective 19 percent of those surveyed. In the March survey with Thompson listed as a potential candidate, support for these conservatives fell to just 7 percent (with Thompson picking up the missing 12 percent).

Thompson did not run for a third term as U.S. Senator from Tennessee in 2002, but does not face the problem of name recognition that plagues other candidates, due to his high-profile appearances on television (Law and Order) and film (In the Line of Fire, Cape Fear, Die Hard 2, Days of Thunder, The Hunt for the Red October) in a 20-year acting career.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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