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Edwards and Romney Maintain Advantage in Iowa

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Underdogs John Edwards and Mitt Romney continue to lead their respective Republican and Democratic caucus matchups, according to a brand new poll by KCCI-TV / Research 2000.

The poll of 400 likely Iowa Democratic caucus voters, conducted July 23-25, finds John Edwards with a 5-point lead over Hillary Clinton, at 27—22 percent. Clinton, who is leading her Democratic competitors in every national poll, and in almost every state poll, previously had a 28—26 percent lead over Edwards in a KCCI-TV / Research 2000 poll conducted in mid-May. While Edwards has been leading in Iowa in many other polls, this is his first outright lead measured by KCCI-TV / Research 2000.

Barack Obama received the third most support, at 16 percent—down from 22 percent in May. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has seen his stock rising: from 1 percent in December 2006, to 7 percent in May, to 11 percent in the July survey. Joe Biden (3 percent), Chris Dodd (2 percent), Dennis Kucinich (2%), and Mike Gravel (1 percent) round out the Democratic field. Sixteen percent of likely Democratic caucus voters are undecided—up from 11 percent in December and May.

On the Republican side, Mitt Romney—who nationally is polling in third or fourth (when Fred Thompson is listed as a candidate)—continues his surge in support among Iowans. Romney's measured support has risen from 9 percent in December to 16 percent in May to 25 percent in the new KCCI-TV / Research 2000 poll. Romney now leads outside the margin of error in all major public opinion surveys conducted since June (including American Research Group and Mason-Dixon).

Fred Thompson received 14 percent in the new poll, up from 9 percent in May. Rudy Giuliani's measured support continues to fall (from 26 in December to 17 in May to 13 percent in July) as did John McCain's (from 27 to 18 to 10 percent).

Possible candidate Newt Gingrich received 6 percent, followed by Tom Tancredo (2 percent), Tommy Thompson (2 percent), Mike Huckabee (2 percent), Sam Brownback (2 percent), and Duncan Hunter (1 percent). Ron Paul did not receive a measurable amount of support.

For the third straight poll nearly a quarter (22 percent) of likely Republican caucus voters were not sure for whom they would vote.

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Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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