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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

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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