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ARG Iowa Poll: Clinton Up 14; 3-Way GOP Race

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As further proof of how things can change in Iowa at the drop of a hat, the latest polling by American Research Group (ARG) finds the former 3-way Democratic race now showing a 14-point Hillary Clinton advantage, and the former duel between Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney now a 3-way race with John McCain.

The poll, conducted December 20-23 of 600 likely Republican and 600 likely Democratic caucus voters, finds Clinton apparently surging after a very shaky last few months with mediocre debate performances and actions by her campaign leaders that have been routinely criticized by the media.

The 34 percent support received by Clinton in the new survey is the highest mark in the monthly ARG poll since late January 2007 (35 percent). Clinton is followed by John Edwards at 20 percent, Barack Obama at 20 percent, Joe Biden at 8 percent, Bill Richardson at 5 percent, and Chris Dodd and Dennis Kucinich at 2 percent each. Ten percent of likely Democratic caucus participants remain undecided.

On the Republican side, the few weeks of attacks against Iowa frontrunner Mike Huckabee are apparently beginning to take their toll. Huckabee's support, at 23 percent, is at its lowest in the last 4 ARG polls. Romney, at 21 percent, polls within the margin of error, followed by McCain at 17 percent. McCain had been written off in Iowa a month ago—polling at just 9 percent in the late November ARG survey (and as low as 5 percent in other surveys of Iowans conducted during the past 4 weeks).

McCain is followed by Rudy Giuliani (14 percent), and Ron Paul, who, at 10 percent, is at his personal high-water mark in Iowa polling to date. Fred Thompson (3 percent), Duncan Hunter (2 percent), and Alan Keyes (2 percent) round out the GOP field with 8 percent still undecided—the lowest number of undecided Republican caucus voters in 15 ARG polls conducted during the past year.

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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 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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