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Latest IA Poll: Clinton Continues to Lead, GOP Race Tightens

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In American Research Group's (ARG) 10th consecutive monthly poll of likely Iowa caucus voters, Hillary Clinton leads the Democratic pack for the 9th time. Clinton reached the 30 percent support mark for the 8th time, good for a 6-point lead over Barack Obama. At 24 percent, this was the largest amount of measured support for Obama since ARG began polling in December 2006.

The poll found 19 percent support for John Edwards—a decline for the third straight month after reaching 29 percent in June 2007. Edwards, who had lead in many public polls in Iowa during the Spring and early Summer, now trails Clinton in almost all recent surveys.

Rounding out the Democratic field were Bill Richardson (10 percent), Joe Biden (3 percent), Chris Dodd (1 percent), Dennis Kucinich (1 percent), and Mike Gravel (0 percent). Thirteen percent of likely Democratic caucus voters were undecided.

On the Republican side ARG's poll shows the race has tightened, with Mitt Romney's double-digit lead in August 2007 now within the margin of error. ARG measured Romney's support at 22 percent, followed by Rudy Giuliani at 21 percent, and Fred Thompson at 16 percent.

John McCain, who is perceived to have had strong debate performances of late, including a high-profile debate in New Hampshire last month, received 11 percent, up from 5 percent in August.

Support for Mike Huckabee, who was second in Iowa's August Straw Poll, dropped from 14 percent in August to 4 percent in the new poll. Huckabee was followed by Sam Brownback (2 percent), Duncan Hunter (2 percent), Ron Paul (2 percent), Tom Tancredo (1 percent), and new GOP candidate Alan Keyes (1 percent).

Newt Gingrich, who recently announced he would not be seeking the Republican nomination, received 5 percent. Thirteen percent of likely Republican caucus voters were undecided.

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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stassen in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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