Everyone who's anyone seeking the presidency heads to Iowa around this time in the (never-ending and ever-shortening) presidential election cycle.

A Suffolk University statewide Iowa poll reveals how things are shaping up at the moment for some of the presumed contenders:
A subset of self-described Iowa caucus goers were asked their first choice for their party's nomination for president, 63 percent of Democrats indicated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 12 percent chose Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and 10 percent favored Vice President Joe Biden.

The picture was much cloudier on the Republican side, with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 11 percent, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (10 percent each), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and medical professor emeritus Ben Carson (9 percent each), and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (7 percent). Six others had 6 percent each: Congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), former Alaska Gov. and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), former Sen. Rick Santorum, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
I don't believe I've ever seen two female candidates leading the favored nominees of either of the two major parties during this point in a presidential contest, especially not with a sitting vice-president of the same party. That is really neat.

The Republican clown car is looking particularly clownish this time around. I mean, there just isn't a single potential candidate who isn't a total fucking joke. With the possible exception of Jeb Bush, whose politics are loathsome, but at least he's not a cartoon.

Twenty years ago, if you'd told me Bob Dole would comparatively look like such a model of moderation and competence that I'd be longing to see candidates like him again, well, I frankly probably would have believed you. But I still would have sobbed and considered rending my garments, depending on whether I was wearing a favorite Smiths t-shirt that day.

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