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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

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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