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Latest IA Poll: Dem. Caucus Heats Up; Romney in Sight For Huckabee

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The first CBS News/New York Times poll of the presidential race in Iowa finds Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama in a statistical tie. In the new poll, Clinton's support is measured at 25 percent, followed by Edwards at 23 percent, Obama at 22 percent, Bill Richardson at 12 percent, Joe Biden at 4 percent, and Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd both at 1 percent. Eleven percent of the 793 likely Democratic caucus voters were undecided.

In most public polls released prior to November 2007 either Obama and Edwards were within single-digits of the New York Senator, but not both challengers. Last week's Zogby poll and the new CBS/NYT poll find both Obama and Edwards closing the gap on Clinton.

Pundits have noted Senator Clinton has had her first 'bad week' of the '08 campaign —her campaign admitted to planting a question at a campaign stop in Iowa, days after getting criticized harshly in the press for her performance during the last Democratic debate.

On the Republican side, Mitt Romney leads in the new CBS/NYT poll with 27 percent, followed by Mike Huckabee at 21 percent, Rudy Giuliani at 15 percent, and Fred Thompson at 9 percent. This is the first public poll to give Huckabee more than 20 percent of the Republican vote in any state, aside from his home state of Arkansas, where he was governor.

John McCain received the nod from just 4 percent of the 480 likely Republican caucus voters polled—the second lowest amount of support he has received in the nearly 30 public polls taken in Iowa during the past year. McCain is now tied with Ron Paul, who also received 4 percent, with Paul about to launch a significant advertising campaign in the Hawkeye State. Paul is already polling close to 10 percent in New Hampshire, and recently raised more than $4 million in one day.

Tom Tancredo (3 percent) and Duncan Hunter (2 percent) round out the GOP field, with 10 percent undecided.

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Remains of the Data

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Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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