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Edwards Edges Clinton in Volatile Iowa Polling

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For the first time in the five polls conducted monthly by American Research Group (ARG) since December 2006, John Edwards is now polling ahead of Hillary Clinton among likely Democratic caucus voters in Iowa.

Edwards received 27 percent of support in the poll, conducted April 27-30, with Clinton coming in at 23 percent. Clinton dropped 11 points since a mid-March ARG poll; Edwards, meanwhile dropped 6 points from his 33 percent level of support in March. More Iowans are now undecided about which candidate they support (16 percent) than in any of the previous ARG polls, including twice as many undecided likely voters as compared to 5 months ago (just 8 percent in December 2006).

Senator Clinton held double digit leads over Edwards in December (11 points) and late January (17 points), but Edwards has since closed the gap: down 4 points in February, 1 point in March, and now up 4 points in the new survey.

Iowa is considered to be a must-win state for Edwards. The former Senator has campaigned heavily in the Hawkeye State since the 2004 election, and will need the momentum (and the positive press coverage that accompanies such a victory) to compete with the well-funded Clinton (and once buzz-worthy Barack Obama) heading into New Hampshire and the big multi-state primary days that take place a few weeks later.

Obama came in third in the new ARG poll at 19 percent. The two candidates who enjoyed the biggest surge of support, however, were in the "second tier" of candidates. Joe Biden received the support of 6 percent of likely Democratic caucus voters, after polling at just 2 percent in each of the previous four ARG surveys. Bill Richardson likewise polled in fifth place at 5 percent, after receiving just 1 percent in the four previous polls.

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Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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