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Obama Leads Clinton In New ABC News/W. Post Iowa Poll

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A new ABC News / Washington Post Iowa poll finds Barack Obama leading Hillary Clinton—and the Democratic field—for the first time since July 2007. The poll, conducted November 14-18 of 500 likely Democratic caucus voters, gives Obama a 30 percent to 26 percent advantage over Clinton, with John Edwards coming in third at 22 percent.

Obama had previously lead Clinton only three times in the nearly three-dozen public polls of Iowans released during the past year. The new ABC News poll is just the second survey that puts Obama in the lead outright—the other being the July 2007 ABC News poll, in which Obama lead Clinton and Edwards by 27 to 26 percent (a statistical tie). Obama also lead Clinton in a January 2007 Zogby poll and a December 2006 KCCI-TV / Research 2000 poll.

It should be noted The ABC News survey data includes 'leaners' in its findings—those whose support for a candidate is much more tenuous. Using this methodology, ABC News reported only 3 percent of Democratic caucus voters were 'undecided,' whereas the usual poll of likely voters finds more than 10 percent to be unsure. In other words, there is likely to be greater fluidity in these polling results than a normal scientific poll.

Bill Richardson garnered the support of 11 percent of those surveyed, followed by 4 percent for Joe Biden and 1 percent for Chris Dodd.

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Remains of the Data

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

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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