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Immigration Gaffe Doesn't Erode Clinton's Lead in Iowa...Yet

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Hillary Clinton still leads the race for the nod of Democratic caucus voters in Iowa, according to the latest Zogby poll. The survey, conducted November 6 of 502 likely Democratic caucus voters, measures voter preferences a week after an MSNBC Democratic debate in which Clinton had a much-publicized gaffe on the issue of New York State issuing drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants.

Zogby measured Clinton's support at 28 percent, followed by Barack Obama at 25 percent, John Edwards at 21 percent, Bill Richardson at 9 percent, Joe Biden at 3 percent, and Chris Dodd at 1 percent. Twelve percent were undecided.

Some national polls have seen a modest dip in support for Clinton this week—attributing it to her qualified support and "understanding" as to why New York Governor Eliot Spitzer backed a plan to give illegal immigrants drivers' licenses in his state. Clinton was then criticized harshly by several of her Democratic debate opponents, as well as the media and several political strategists and commentators thereafter.

Iowans, like citizens of most of the nation, are generally supportive of tough action against illegal immigration. In an April 2006 Rasmussen poll, respondents favored sending National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border by a 58-30 margin, wished to end the practice of giving citizenship to children born of illegal immigrants by a 63-23 margin, and were split 39-39 on the proposal to deport every single illegal immigrant out of the United States.

Republicans are more impacted by a candidate's position on immigration policy in Iowa than Democrats. However, in a race in which Clinton's lead has been in the single digits over both Obama and Edwards for most of the year, her immigration debacle could tip the scales. A September 2007 Los Angeles Times poll found 13 percent of likely Democratic caucus voters would only vote for a candidate who agrees with them on illegal immigration, compared to 34 percent of Republicans.

In a state that could deliver a knockout blow to the Edwards and Obama campaigns, Clinton strategists must be working overtime to insure a similar gaffe by their candidate doesn't derail her lead in the Hawkeye States, now less tham two months before its caucuses.

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Remains of the Data

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

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Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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