Big Poll News in Iowa

John Edwards has a strong lead in the latest Iowa poll, but that's not the biggest news.  Barack Obama is now in second place, and Mitt Romney has a solid lead for the Republican nomination, with John McCain barely beating Rudy Giuliani for second place.

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Where did all those Contributions come from?

I came across an interesting map from the NYT a couple days ago which I posted a link to in an open thread.  It shows where the contributions for the presidential candidates came from.  I kept playing around with it, and decided to post a few things.  Then I found a chart from USA Today that filled in a few more details.  Unfortunately, not everything matched up, but I tried my best to make it work.  So, who got the most money from PACs?  Who got the most maxed contributions?  Who got the most money in each state?  Well if you want bragging rights, or are just curious, here you go.

PACs: 1st John McCain- $304,698; 2nd Chris Dodd- $295,500
Party: 1st Jim Gilmore- $250; 2nd John Edwards- $200
Self: 1st Sam Brownback- $25
Under $200: 1st Barack Obama- $5,384,178; 2nd John McCain- $2,204,080
$2,300: 1st Hillary Clinton- $19,173,040; 2nd Barack Obama- $12,628,038

(For states, see below)

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Oregon Senate: A Possible Challenger/Analysis

I've just heard a report on the radio that the DSCC is offering Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-04) support of up to $5,000,000 if he runs against Senator Gordon Smith.  Although DeFazio has said before that he will not run, apparently he is still considering it.  I've heard that the DSCC has given him a deadline to decide- a deadline that is approaching soon.
For those who don't know Peter, he is a member of both the Progressive and Out of Iraq Caucuses.

From Open Secrets:
Gordon Smith
2001-2006 Total Receipts: $9,350,699
2001-2006 Total Spent: $7,118,471
Cash on Hand: $2,193,310
Debts: $1,519,648
Date of last report: December 31, 2006
First elected: 1996
Next election: 2008

Peter Defazio
2005-2006 Total Receipts: $793,123
2005-2006 Total Spent: $753,011
Cash on Hand: $105,036
Debts: $0
Date of last report: December 31, 2006
First elected: 1986
Next election: 2006

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Economic Principles of Clinton, Edwards, Obama, and Richardson

I was in a fairly brief exchange with Shaun Appleby about the underlying ideologies of John Edwards and Barack Obama, particularly on economic issues.  I'm looking at the records of the top contenders, including the two above, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Richardson, and below are my conclusions.
In the exchange I stated that it is fairly difficult to distinguish whether John Edwards or Barack Obama are more "modern" or "welfare" liberals, or social democrats, but that Hillary Clinton seemed to me to be more obviously an economic liberal, like her husband, which is why it would be difficult for me to support her.  There is a lot of talk about how hard it is to distinguish welfare liberals from social democrats, particularly when they are in a legislative role, but as an executive, they are much freer to express themselves in policy, rather than just voting on other peoples bills and compromising in order to pass legislation.  Shaun said that we should review the records, and then compare notes.  Here goes...

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