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Obama Leads McCain in Iowa in 18th Consecutive Poll

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Barack Obama is leading John McCain in the important battleground state of Iowa for the 18th consecutive matchup poll, dating back to December 2006. The new poll, conducted June 10th of 500 likely voters by Rasmussen, gives Obama a 45 to 38 percent advantage, with 7 percent supporting some other candidate and 9 percent undecided.

Obama has led McCain in 18 of 18 polls conducted across four different survey organizations for the past year and a half. McCain has polled within five points just five times, and has trailed by double digits five times as well.

The Rasmussen poll does show some concerns for Obama: while the candidates' overall favorability ratings are similar (59 percent for McCain, 58 percent for Obama), a larger percentage of Iowans have a very unfavorable view of the Senator from Illinois (25 percent) than the Senator from Arizona (16 percent).

Of greater concern to Obama, 41 percent of Iowans believe he is too inexperienced to become president. A large portion of that voting block are Republicans voting for McCain, to be sure, but other skeptics are doubtless independents and some Democrats among the 1 in 6 surveyed (16 percent) who did not express a preference for either candidate.

The Hawkeye State had voted Democratic in presidential elections for four straight cycles until 2004, when George W. Bush carried the state by approximately 10,000 votes. Before 1988, Republicans had carried the state in 8 of the previous 9 presidential elections.

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Remains of the Data

Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


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