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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

Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


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).


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