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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

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

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).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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