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Iowa Poll: More Good News For Huckabee and Obama

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The latest Des Moines Register Iowa Poll finds Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama atop the fields of their respective parties, continuing the momentum for each candidate chronicled in other public polls released during the past week.

The poll, conducted November 25-28 of 500 likely Democratic and 500 likely Republican caucus voters, finds Obama (28 percent), Hillary Clinton (25 percent), and John Edwards (23 percent) once again bunched within 5 points of one another. This continues the trend found by other surveys released during the past week of a close three-way race for the Democratic nod in Iowa. The latest American Research Group (ARG) poll found a 4-point spread among the three candidates with Obama on top, while the latest Rasmussen poll found a 3-point spread with Clinton on top.

Bill Richardson registered 9 percent in the new poll, followed by Joe Biden at 6 percent, and Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd at 1 percent each.

Although only 7 percent of respondents were undecided, it should be noted the Des Moines Register poll includes 'leaners' in its findings—those who do not initially express a particular candidate preference. Of those polled who ultimately stated a preference (some after a follow-up question prompt), more than half of the likely Democratic caucus voters stated they could change their mind by January 3rd.

On the Republican side Mike Huckabee makes his case as the new 'comeback kid' from Arkansas—leading the field with 29 percent in the new poll. Huckabee also led in last week's Rasmussen poll and trailed Romney by a statistically insignificant 1 point in last week's ARG survey.

In the Des Moines Register poll, Mitt Romney now trails by 5 points at 24 percent, followed by Rudy Giuliani at 13 percent, Fred Thompson at 9 percent, and John McCain and Ron Paul tied at 7 percent. Tom Tancredo, who has led the anti-illegal immigration charge that has taken on such an important role in the primary debates, came in seventh at 6 percent—the highest level of support he has received in any public poll of Iowans to date. Duncan Hunter received 1 percent with 4 percent undecided. Nearly 60 percent of Republican caucus voters stated they could be convinced to switch allegiances prior to Caucus Day.

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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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