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Obama, Huckabee On Top In Two New Iowa Polls

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With less than three weeks until the Iowa Caucuses, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee continue to build on their rising support over the past few weeks, according to two statewide polls conducted this week.

On the Democratic side, Obama leads Hillary Clinton and John Edwards by nine points each in the new Research 2000 survey, and is tied with Clinton in a new Hotline poll.

Research 2000 (December 10-13, 2007; 500 LV)
Obama = 33%
Edwards = 24%
Clinton = 24%
Richardson = 9%
Biden = 3%
Dodd = 1%
Kucinich = 1%
Gravel = 0%
No opinion = 5%

Hotline (December 7-12, 2007; 569 LV)
Obama = 27%
Clinton = 27%
Edwards = 22%
Richardson = 8%
Biden = 5%
Dodd = 1%
Kucinich = 1%
Gravel = 0%
No opinion = 10%

Obama's momentum occurs during a week which saw many events work in his favor: Oprah Winfrey's endorsement in Des Moines, a televised Democratic debate in which Obama delivered the best line (at Clinton's expense), and a media frenzy critical of the Clinton campaign for a statement released by a (now former) campaign co-chair who raised the specter of Obama's involvement with drugs as a youth.

Edwards, meanwhile, is poised and waiting to leapfrog both Obama and Clinton—hoping to benefit from this tête-à-tête among the frontrunners, adopting a more genial tone and remaining focused on the issues in a state which is known to have a distaste for negative campaigning.

On the Republican side, Huckabee capped off a second week in which he has come out on top in every public poll (Mason-Dixon, Newsweek, Rasmussen, Hotline, Research 2000). There appears to be two races going on: Huckabee and Mitt Romney for first and Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Ron Paul for third.

Research 2000 (December 10-13, 2007; 500 LV)
Huckabee = 31%
Romney = 22%
Giuliani = 9%
Thompson = 9%
McCain = 7%
Paul = 7%
Tancredo = 2%
Hunter = 1%
No opinion = 12%

Hotline (December 7-12, 2007; 446 LV)

Huckabee = 36%
Romney = 23%
Giuliani = 12%
Thompson = 8%
McCain = 5%
Paul = 5%
Tancredo = 1%
Hunter = 0%
No opinion = 10%

Huckabee's strong numbers continue to come largely at the expense of the Thompson-McCain-Giuliani block. Romney's support has remained between 20 percent and 31 percent in 16 of 17 public polls conducted since November. This indicates a good base of support so that if Huckabee should misstep, the former Governor of Massachusetts should be able to carry the Hawkeye State on the road to New Hampshire (where Romney' support has been measured in double-digits in 17 of 19 polls conducted since November).

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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

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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