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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

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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