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The Partisan Divide in Iowa

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A new Bloomberg / LA Times poll of likely caucus voters in Iowa demonstrates quite clearly how the view of the country is affected by one's political lens. While the outlook on the GOP side is not exceedingly optimistic, it seems so when paired against the glum worldview held by the Democrats.

Only 8 percent of those Democrats and independents voting in the Iowa Democratic caucuses believe the United States is headed in the right direction, with more than 11 times that number, 89 percent, of the view it is seriously off on the wrong track. More than half (53 percent) of Republicans and independents likely to vote in the GOP caucuses believe the country is going in the right direction, with 40 percent believing it is on the wrong track.

The difference in judging the state of the nation's economy also has a great partisan divide with Republicans (74 percent) nearly 50-points more optimistic that the economy is going well compared to the Democrats (28 percent).

The divide is even greater when assessing the Iraq war—73 percent of Republican caucus voters still believe it was worth going to war, while only 12 percent of Democratic caucus voters hold that view. However, despite 83 percent of Democratic voters believing it was not worth going to war, only 28 percent believe the troops should come home right away; 60 percent believe they should come home within the next year. Sixty-eight percent of Republican voters believe the troops should stay in Iraq "as long as it takes," compared to just 7 percent on the Democratic side.

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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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