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Iowa Democratic Caucus Time Capsule: 2004

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With Barack Obama tied or in the lead outright in three of the last four public polls in Iowa, the political beat is buzzing how Hillary Clinton, who had led in every Hawkeye State poll from late August to late November, has lost her momentum to the junior Senator from Illinois.

With just two weeks until the caucuses on January 3rd, Smart Politics takes a look back at the Democratic caucus polling conducted two weeks prior to the January 19th caucuses back in 2004.

A SurveyUSA poll conducted January 5-7, 2004 still showed Howard Dean in the lead—with a 29-22 lead over Richard Gephardt. John Kerry was in 3rd (21 percent), followed by John Edwards (17 percent).

Gephardt and Dean, the two leading candidates in Iowa throughout 2003, both went on the attack in the waning weeks before Caucus Day. The end result was a belated holiday gift to Kerry and Edwards, who went on to finish 1-2 in the caucuses.

In the 2008 campaign, Obama and Clinton haven't quite gone negative yet—although Clinton's high-profile surrogates (including her husband Bill) seem to be dropping the seeds of attacks to come (e.g. suggesting Obama is a coin-flip, and is not quite ready for primetime).

There is no doubt Edwards is salivating over a potential all-out war between the two frontrunners. This might be Edwards' best (and last) shot to pull out an 11th hour victory to save his campaign.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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