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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

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

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.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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