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LA Times Poll Shows Clinton, Romney Leading the Pack in IA

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In the first LA Times / Bloomberg poll of likely Iowa caucus voters, Hillary Clinton maintains her lead over John Edwards while failing to reach the 30 percent mark; meanwhile, Mitt Romney continues to enjoy a double-digit lead over his chief rivals. The poll was conducted September 6-10 of 462 likely Democratic caucus voters and 350 likely Republican caucus voters.

Clinton received 28 percent support in the new poll, followed by Edwards at 23 percent, Barack Obama at 19 percent, Bill Richardson at 10 percent, Joe Biden at 2 percent, Dennis Kucinich at 2 percent, and Chris Dodd at 1 percent. Fifteen percent were not sure who would get their vote.

When asked which candidate has new ideas, Obama led the way with 35 percent, followed by Clinton (19 percent), and Edwards (11 percent). However, Edwards was viewed as the most likeable (31 percent), followed by Obama (28 percent), and Clinton (20 percent). Clinton trounced the field when Iowa Democratic caucus voters were asked who had the right experience for the presidency—49 percent indicated Clinton, with just 15 percent for Edwards, 10 percent for Richardson, and only 7 percent for Obama.

Clinton also received the highest marks for being the best candidate in the Democratic field to fight terrorism and ending the war in Iraq—earning twice the support as any other candidate.

On the Republican side, Romney earned the nod of 28 percent of likely Republican caucus voters, followed by Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson each at 16 percent, Mike Huckabee at 8 percent, John McCain at 7 percent, Tom Tancredo at 3 percent, Ron Paul at 2 percent, Sam Brownback at 2 percent, and Duncan Hunter at 1 percent. Seventeen percent were undecided. Romney has led by double-digits in every public poll taken in Iowa since August 2007.

Romney also edged Giuliani in the eyes of Iowa Republican caucus voters on several key issues and character traits: leading the former New York City mayor 23-21 percent in terms of strength of leadership, 20-14 percent in terms of who would best handle social issues like abortion and gay rights, and 25-10 percent in keeping taxes low (Thompson came in second on the tax issue with 13 percent).

John McCain was viewed as the best candidate to handle the war in Iraq (24 percent), followed by Giuliani (21 percent), and Romney (13 percent). Giuliani was viewed as the best to fight terrorism and protect national security (25 percent), followed by McCain (19 percent), and Thompson (9 percent).

In perhaps the most interesting finding of the poll 48 percent of GOP caucus voters felt the country needed a new direction, while just 44 percent felt the nation should continue the policies of President Bush.

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Remains of the Data

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Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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