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Terrorism, Immigration Key Issues to Iowa Republican Caucus Vote Choice

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A new ABC News / Washington Post poll finds terrorism and illegal immigration topping the list of most important issues determining vote choice among likely Iowa Republican caucus voters.

Fourteen percent cited terrorism and national security issues as the most important factor, while thirteen percent cited illegal immigration in the survey conducted November 14-18.

A November 12th Rasmussen poll of likely caucus voters in Iowa found Republicans nearly of one mind when it comes to illegal immigration - a subject which has been one of the most frequently visited in GOP (and Democratic) debates. In Iowa, 91 percent of Republicans caucus voters believe undocumented workers should not be allowed to receive driver's licenses, according to the Rasmussen poll. Eight-six percent believe police officers should be able to check a person's immigration status if pulled over for a traffic violation, and, if determined to be illegal, 76 percent believe they should then be deported.

Other top issues driving Iowa Republican vote choice include abortion (10 percent), the war in Iraq (10 percent), the economy and jobs (9 percent), health care (8 percent), morals and family values (7 percent), and taxes (6 percent).

The ABC News poll confirmed the results reported by other public polls this month—Mitt Romney (28 percent) holding a narrow lead over the surging Mike Huckabee (24 percent), with the rest of the field trailing in double digits. Fred Thompson (15 percent), Rudy Giuliani (13 percent) John McCain (6 percent), Ron Paul (6 percent), Tom Tancredo (2 percent), and Duncan Hunter (1 percent) complete the GOP field.

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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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