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Iowa Democratic Caucus Time Capsule: October 2003

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As Hillary Clinton continues to lead by a modest margin in most public polls in Iowa with the caucus three months away, a look back to polls in October 2003 reminds one of how quickly things can change just a few months before the caucuses.

In the three public polls released in October 2003 by Zogby, SurveyUSA, and KCCI-TV / Research 2000, Richard Gephardt led in every poll, with Howard Dean a close second. Gephardt, who only received 11 percent of the vote on Caucus Day (a distant fourth place finish), enjoyed an average measured support of 25 percent in the three polls.

Dean, who finished third in Iowa with a disappointing 18 percent, averaged 23 percent of the vote in October 2003 polling.

John Edwards was a distant fourth in the October 2003 polls, averaging just 9 percent. Edwards went on to a very strong second place in the Iowa Caucuses, winning 32 percent of the vote.

John Kerry, who averaged only 13 percent in October 2003 polling, went on to earn nearly triple that support on Caucus Day, winning 38 percent of the vote in January 2004.

"Inevitability" is the word of the month as Senator Clinton dominates in the national Democratic Party horserace polling and enjoys one successful fundraising quarter after another. The plight of Dean, who was also raising eyebrows with his fundraising skills in 2003, should be a cautionary reminder of how nothing in politics is inevitable.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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