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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

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Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


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.


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