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Clinton On Top In 2 of 3 Iowa Polls Released Today

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Is the 'Clinton machine' at last paying dividends in Iowa? The answer to that question is still unknown according to three new polls of Iowans released today.

Clinton's strongest support in Iowa to date has come from the Democratic base, with independents breaking to Barack Obama and John Edwards. Democrats will likely outnumber independents by at least a 4:1 margin on Thursday night, so if Clinton maintains a healthy plurality of the Democratic base, she has reason to be optimistic.

In the CNN poll of 543 likely voters, Clinton leads the pack with 33 percent—2 points ahead of Obama and 11 points ahead of Edwards.

In the Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll of 925 likely voters, Clinton has a 4-point lead over Obama (30-26 percent), with Edwards just 5 points back at 25 percent.

In the Des Moines Register's Iowa Poll of 800 likely voters, it is Obama on top with 32 percent, followed by Clinton at 25 percent and Edwards at 24 percent. The Register's recent track record of gauging voter support heading into the caucus is good: in its last poll before the mid-January 2004 caucuses, the paper correctly projected the Kerry-Edwards-Dean-Gephardt finish reflected in the final results in that competitive four-way race. None of the other polling organizations that released surveys at that time (Zogby, SurveyUSA, and KCCI-TV / Research 2000) correctly projected this order.

Look for a few more polls to come out on Wednesday, and stay tuned to Smart Politics on caucus night for updated results and analysis.

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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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