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Bachmann Suffers Greatest Fall for Iowa Straw Poll Winner

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The Minnesota congresswoman sets a trio of unwelcome records after her poor showing in Iowa Tuesday

michelebachmann07.jpgWith her sixth place finish in Tuesday evening's Iowa caucuses, Republican U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann has put her name in the record books of presidential politics in the Hawkeye State.

Bachmann's showing in the caucuses is the worst of any of the seven Ames Straw Poll winners since its inception in 1979.

The previous worst performance in the caucuses by a Straw Poll victor was 1995's co-winner Texas U.S. Senator Phil Gramm.

Gramm tied Bob Dole with 24.4 percent of the Straw Poll vote, but sank all the way to fifth place in an eight-candidate field on Caucus Day the next February - behind Dole, Pat Buchanan, Lamar Alexander, and Steve Forbes.

Bachmann sank below Gramm's showing down to sixth place in a seven-candidate field (excluding Buddy Roemer).

Bachmann also set the record for the lowest percentage of the vote in the caucuses ever recorded by an Iowa Straw Poll winner at just 5 percent.

That dips well below the 9.3 percent Phil Gramm notched in 1995.

No other Straw Poll winner has received less than 24 percent in the caucuses.

The congresswoman's 23.6 percentage-point drop from her Ames showing (28.6 percent) to the caucuses (5.0 percent) is also the biggest among Straw Poll winners.

Gramm shed 15.1 percent off his Straw Poll tally, with no other Ames winner losing more than nine points.

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Remains of the Data

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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.


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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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