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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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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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