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Romney Continues to Lead GOP Pack in Iowa; Dem. Field Remains Tight

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In the first public opinion poll taken during the month of June of likely Iowa caucus voters, Mitt Romney continues his surge atop the Republican field. The firm of Mason Dixon (in their first Iowa poll of Election 2008) reports Romney receives the support of 25 percent of Iowa Republicans, with Fred Thompson at 21 percent and Rudy Giuliani at 15 percent. In four polls released last month, Romney was polling in the mid- to high teens in three of them (American Research Group, KCCI-TV / Research 2000, Zogby), and reached 30 percent in another (Iowa Poll).

Thompson's surge in Iowa complements his rising poll numbers in recent national surveys released this month (e.g. 28 percent in the latest Rasmussen poll, 21 percent in an LA Times poll, 20 percent in a mid-June NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, and 19 percent in a USA Today / Gallup poll).

At just 6 percent, John McCain—who led the GOP field in early Iowa polling after last November's elections—is now in a virtual tie for fourth place with Mike Huckabee (7 percent) and Sam Brownback (6 percent). This flatlining of support for McCain in the Hawkeye State demonstrates just how much polling numbers can shift in a short period of time as voters gradually begin to tune in to the Election 2008 campaigns; there are now less than 7 months until the Iowa caucuses.

Mason Dixon finds the Democratic field to be very tight at the top, as it has been throughout the spring, with Hillary Clinton (22 percent), John Edwards (21 percent) and Barack Obama (18 percent) in dead heat.

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Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


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.


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