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Democratic Race in Iowa Remains Deadlocked

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While the most open GOP race in several presidential election cycles dominates the political news coverage, the state of Iowa continues to be a stumbling block for Hillary Clinton's coronation as the Democratic nominee. Clinton has dominated in the national polls throughout the year as well as in most state polls, with the exception of the other leading candidates' home states.

Iowans, however, are not yet convinced by the Clinton campaign, and perhaps that is because they have had a strong look at all the candidates, and are not relying so much on name recognition when being asked for whom they would vote. Clinton has struggled to open up the double-digit lead in Iowa that she enjoys nearly everywhere else across the nation.

The latest Rasmussen survey demonstrates a continuation of this trend. In a survey of 1,156 likely Democratic caucus attendees on November 26-27, Clinton, at 27 percent, is in a dead heat with John Edwards (25 percent), and Barack Obama (24 percent). Obama received a swarm of media buzz a week ago when an ABC / Washington Post poll showed the Illinois junior Senator with his first lead in a public poll in the Hawkeye State since July. The truth is no candidate has demonstrated any kind of momentum significant enough to warrant the kind of 'breakthrough' status Mike Huckabee has achieved on the Republican side of the ticket in Iowa.

John Edwards has not led in a public poll since late August (Time Magazine), but either Edwards or Obama has trailed Clinton by just six points or less in 11 of 13 public polls of Iowans released since September.

The new Rasmussen poll measures Bill Richardson's support at 10 percent, followed by Joe Biden at 4 percent while 8 percent are undecided.

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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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