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Obama Lead Narrows in Iowa While Harkin’s Lead Expands

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In another bit of sobering news for the Barack Obama campaign, a new Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters in Iowa finds his double-digit lead over John McCain from a month ago now standing at 5 points.

In July, Obama’s lead was measured at 48 to 38 percent over McCain, but an August 7th survey now measures it at 46 to 41 percent.

Now, this 5-point drop would not normally be noteworthy, considering the margin of error of 4.5 points in each Rasmussen survey. However, what is interesting is that the McCain bump occurs in a poll that also measures Democratic Senator Tom Harkin’s lead over Republican Christopher Reed on the rise – from 16 points in Rasmussen’s July survey (52 to 36 percent) to 24 points today (58 to 34 percent).

Iowa is a state whose current partisan breakdown is approximately 40 percent Democratic, 30 percent Republican, 25 percent independent, and 5 percent other/uncertain. Therefore, for Harkin to be flirting with 60 percent in the polls after hovering at just over 50 percent in July, means some independents and perhaps some Republicans have recently decided to vote Democratic in the U.S. Senate race, but (en masse) are also moving in equal numbers to McCain in the Presidential race.

Obama has still led McCain in every of the nearly two-dozen matchup polls that have been conducted in Iowa since December 2006.

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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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