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Senators Harkin and Feingold Don't View Terrorist Threat In Iraq To Be In U.S. National Security Interest

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In one of many votes held during a late night session on Capitol Hill Tuesday night, the U.S. Senate overwhelming passed an amendment expressing:

The sense of the Senate that it is in the national security interest of the United States that Iraq not become a failed state and a safe haven for terrorists.

The Amendment (S 2100) passed by a 94-3 vote. Wisconsin junior Senator Russ Feingold voted against the symbolic amendment; Feingold has been a vocal opponent of the Iraq conflict since well before the U.S. launched military operations in Spring 2003.

Also voting against the amendment were two key members of the Democratic Senate leadership: President Pro Tempore Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Iowa Senator (and Assistant Majority Leader) Tom Harkin. With Harkin up for re-election in 2008, this is the kind of vote that might appear in negative television ads run by his to-be-determined Republican opponent to portray Harkin as soft on national security and the war on terror.

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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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