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Obama Sustains Advantage Over McCain in Iowa

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The latest SurveyUSA poll of 600 registered voters in Iowa still finds Barack Obama on his way to taking back the Hawkeye State for the Democratic Party in 2008.

Obama leads John McCain 47 to 38 percent in the poll conducted May 21-22. Obama has led McCain in all 15 matchup polls conducted across three pollsters dating back to December 2006.

What is of particular note in this poll is the large percent of registered voters who have not yet made up their mind—16 percent. That is the largest number since July 2007, when 20 percent of likely voters in a KCCI-TV / Research 2000 poll did not know for whom they would vote. Just last month, only 9 percent of registered voters were uncertain in SurveyUSA's April poll (with only 5 percent undecided in March 2008).

That is the good news for Obama—his advantage over McCain has withstood the negative media coverage sustained during the last few months of the Democratic primary (e.g. the Pastor Jeremiah Wright controversy).

The bad news for Obama is that it appears to be his weak supporters who are falling into the 'undecided camp' according to monthly SurveyUSA polls. In January 2008, Obama received 55 percent of the support among Iowans when matched up against McCain. In February, that number fell to 51 percent, dropping to 50 percent in March, 49 percent in April, and now 47 percent in the new May poll. McCain's support has fluctuated up and down between 38 and 44 percent in seven SurveyUSA polls since November 2007.

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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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