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Another Day, Another Two New Polls of Iowans

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Two new polls were released Thursday for the presidential race in Iowa, by Rasmussen and American Research Group (ARG), each showing a battle unfolding at the top of the Democratic and Republican tickets.

On the Democratic side, a new Rasmussen poll of 1,239 likely voters found Hillary Clinton at 29 percent, narrowly edging out John Edwards (25 percent) and Barack Obama (24 percent). In the ARG poll of 600 likely voters, Clinton received 27 percent, compared to 21 percent to Obama and 20 percent for Edwards. Bill Richardson (10 percent, 12 percent) and Joe Biden (3 percent, 5 percent) rounded out the top five candidates in the Rasmussen and ARG polls respectively.

Only ARG released results on the GOP side of the ticket today, with Mike Huckabee (24 percent) now within just two points of Mitt Romney (26 percent). Huckabee's surge (discussed here at Smart Politics on October 30th), is throwing a wrench the in the Romney plan: sweeping the small, early states to gain momentum on national frontrunner Rudy Giuliani as the primaries head into Florida and California in late January and early February 2008.

Huckabee's numbers are up 5 points from just two weeks ago in the previous ARG poll and up 20 points since the end of September. Romney's support has remained steady in the Hawkeye State, coming in at 27 percent in ARG's August survey, 22 percent in September, 27 percent in October and 26 percent this week.

Giuliani continues to lag in Iowa at 11 percent—his lowest total (by five points) in Iowa as measured by ARG in 12 surveys since December 2006. Giuliani was tied with Fred Thompson and one point ahead of John McCain (10 percent). Giuliani has not launched a media campaign in Iowa to date, while Romney started his media buys several months ago.

Ron Paul (3 percent), Tom Tancredo (1 percent), and Duncan Hunter (1 percent) round out the GOP field in the ARG survey.

Previous post: Latest IA Poll: Dem. Caucus Heats Up; Romney in Sight For Huckabee
Next post: Richardson and Obama Unlikely to Bolster Support in Iowa After CNN Debate

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Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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