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John Edwards Fares Best in Head-to-Head Matchups In Iowa

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Despite the fact that most recent public polls find John Edwards trailing Hillary Clinton in Iowa's Democratic Party caucus horserace, Edwards fares the best among his chief Democratic Party rivals when matched up against the leading GOP candidates.

A mid-September poll of registered voters by SurveyUSA measured all head-to-head general election matchup combinations between Democrats Clinton, Edwards, and Barack Obama and Republicans Giuliani, Romney, and Fred Thompson.

Edwards performed far and away the best among all six candidates with a net 47-point advantage over Giuliani (+14), Thompson (+17), and Romney (+16). Obama was the second strongest candidate, with a net 28-point advantage over Giuliani (+8), Thompson (+10), and Romney (+10). Clinton was the weakest of the three Democrats, with a net 21-point advantage over Giuliani (+8), Thompson (+6), and Romney (+7).

Giuliani (-30 net point disadvantage) fared only slightly better than Thompson (-33 points) and Romney (-33 points).

These early pairings indicate not only that Edwards is still a strong candidate in Iowa, but that the Hawkeye State—which narrowly voted for President George W. Bush in 2004—is clearly leaning Democratic at this time for the upcoming 2008 election.

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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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