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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

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A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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