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Clinton Regains Lead in New Iowa Poll

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One month after John Edwards outpolled Hillary Clinton for the first time in American Research Group's (ARG) monthly survey of likely Iowa Democratic caucus voters, Clinton has once again pulled ahead of the former Vice Presidential nominee. Clinton had lead Edwards by 11 points in December 2006, 17 points in late January, 4 points in February, and 1 point in March before Edwards' measured support outnumbered Clinton by 27 to 23 percent last month.

In the new May ARG poll Clinton holds a six-point lead on Edwards—31 to 25 percent—with Barack Obama a distant third at 11 percent. The Clinton-Edwards battle for Iowa has been neck-and-neck since the presidential campaign kicked off late last year—evidenced by the unstable polling results that have emerged out of the Hawkeye State every week or so from pollster to pollster.

Clinton has lead Edwards in 5 of the 6 ARG polls, while Edwards has lead or been tied for the lead in all 4 Zogby polls. Edwards also outpolls Clinton in this month's Iowa Poll (Des Moines Register), but trails the junior Senator from New York in this month's KCCI-TV / Research 2000 survey.

Clinton's measured support in Iowa is therefore far from bleak—and her ARG poll performance provides a good distraction from a recent leak of an internal campaign memo suggesting she should skip the Iowa Caucus (a memo Clinton says she never saw) to focus on other states.

While the Democratic frontrunner in Iowa is far from clear, at this stage Obama appears to be garnering the third most support of likely Democratic caucus voters, with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson settling in fourth—flirting with 10 percent in most surveys.

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Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


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