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Romney and Clinton Remain On Top In Iowa

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With 75 days until the Iowa Caucuses (at least the Republican Caucus), Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton remain atop their respective party's field in the race for president as measured by the first Rasmussen poll of Iowans (650 likely Republican caucus voters and 1,007 likely Democratic caucus voters; the poll was conducted October 10th and 14th).

Both candidates were recently projected by the University of Virginia's politcal expert Dr. Larry Sabato to face off in the general election. With Romney only polling competitively in the early primary states (and not polling competitively at all in national polls), Sabato must subscribe to the theory that if a candidate wins these early races, the positive media coverage—and perhaps the desire for voters to be on the 'winning side'—propels the candidate to win the nomination. Clinton is leading in both national polls as well as nearly every public state poll across the country.

In the new Rasmussen poll, Romney's support is measured at 25 percent, followed by Fred Thompson (19 percent), and Mike Huckabee (18 percent). This is Huckabee's strongest polling numbers to date in the Hawkeye State. Rudy Giuliani came in fourth at 13 percent, followed by John McCain (6 percent), Sam Brownback (3 percent), Tom Tancredo (2 percent), Ron Paul (2 percent), and Duncan Hunter (1 percent).

On the Democratic side, Clinton remained in front with 33 percent, followed by John Edwards (22 percent), Barack Obama (21 percent), Bill Richardson (7 percent), and Joe Biden (4 percent).

Eleven percent of likely Republican caucus voters and eleven percent of Democratic caucus voters were undecided.

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Political Crumbs

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Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


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