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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

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


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.


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