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Wisconsin


McCain Making Inroads in Wisconsin

A Quinnipiac survey of likely voters conducted in late July showed John McCain neck-and-neck with Barack Obama in Minnesota, but trailing by double-digits in Wisconsin. At that time Smart Politics warned that the political history of the region would make it very unlikely for McCain to perform better in Minnesota...

The Decline of a President: Tracing Bush's Approval Ratings in the Upper Midwest

Despite rising national unemployment rates, high gas prices, and overall economic uncertainty, George W. Bush remains basically no less popular among Upper Midwesterners in 2008 than he was in 2007. A Smart Politics study of nearly 180 public opinion polls conducted between 2004 and 2008 in the region finds Bush’s...

What Is the Democratic Ceiling Across Upper Midwestern State Legislatures?

The 2006 election saw Democratic takeovers of 3 of the 6 Upper Midwestern legislative chambers previously controlled by the Republicans. Democrats now control 5 chambers (the Iowa House and Senate, the Minnesota House and Senate, and the Wisconsin Senate) with the Republicans controlling 3 (the South Dakota House and Senate...

Will Obama Perform Stronger in Wisconsin Than in Minnesota? Don’t Count On It

A new poll by Quinnipiac University of more than 1,000 likely voters in both Minnesota and Wisconsin was released Thursday with a surprising headline: Barack Obama led John McCain by just 2 points in the Gopher State (46 to 44 percent) but had an 11-point advantage over the Arizona Senator...

Rasmussen Poll: Obama Up Big in MN, IA, Competitive in the Dakotas

Barack Obama is looking to become the first Democratic candidate to sweep the Upper Midwest since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. New polling by Rasmussen indicates Obama is currently competitive enough in the Dakotas to have a chance at doing just that. In South Dakota, a survey of 500 likely...

Wisconsin Assembly Poised to Flip to Democratic Control

The filing deadline for candidacy papers closed last week in Madison and Democrats, who took control of the state Senate in 2006, appear poised to do the same in the Assembly in 2008. Republicans will face an uphill battle holding onto their current 5-seat majority in the lower legislative chamber...

Obama Maintains Double-Digit Lead in Wisconsin

A new Rasmussen survey of 500 likely voters in Wisconsin finds Barack Obama maintaining a substantial lead over John McCain. The Rasmussen poll measures Obama’s advantage over McCain at 11 points – 50 to 39 percent. These results are in line with the three previous Wisconsin surveys conducted during the...

The Upper Midwestern Voting Bloc in Presidential Elections

Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have been (correctly) labeled as key battleground states in recent presidential elections. With the exception of George W. Bush’s narrow victory in the Hawkeye State in 2004, the three states have voted as a bloc dating back to 1988, when Michael Dukakis swept the region. However,...

Presidential Politics in Wisconsin: A Historical Overview

Since Wisconsinites cast their first presidential ballots in 1848, approximately 900,000 more votes have been cast for Republican presidential nominees than Democrats, out of more than 43.2 million votes cast across 40 presidential elections. Wisconsin has been on the winning side of Presidential politics in three-quarters (75 percent) of elections...

Quinnipiac: Obama Breaks Out to Double Digit Leads in MN, WI

Polls released this morning by Quinnipiac University of more than 1,500 likely voters in both Minnesota and Wisconsin show Barack Obama staked to his largest lead to date over John McCain in each battleground state. In Minnesota, the poll (which, due to its large sample size has a margin of...

Why Is Obama Talking About Religion?

Barack Obama's recent comments on religion's problematic role when mixed with government—along with his citation of certain Biblical passages as evidence of this point—have now once again raised the specter of his own religious beliefs. Obama's comments not only renewed his political feud with Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus...

The Race Issue In Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin's latest Badger Poll (conducted June 8-10 of 506 likely voters) provides an illuminating snapshot about its residents' views on race in America—or at least what they are willing to tell a pollster in a telephone interview. The poll revealed, firstly, that the Badger State is currently...

Poll: Wisconsin Presidential Matchup Remains Deadlocked

A new Rasmussen survey conducted June 5th of 500 likely voters in the Badger State finds Barack Obama leading John McCain 45 to 43 percent—within the poll's margin of error. Six percent would support some other candidate and six percent were undecided. The new poll continues a 3-month trend with...

Bush Job Performance Rating Sinks to New Low In Wisconsin

The latest Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters in Wisconsin finds a record number of Badger State residents give President Bush "poor" marks in assessing his job performance. For the first time, a majority of Wisconsinites (51 percent) say Bush is doing poorly in a survey conducted on May 5th,...

Wisconsinites Extremely Dour on the National Scene

The latest in a series of biannual polls conducted by Wisconsin Public Radio and St. Norbert College over the past decade demonstrates that Wisconsinites view the state of the nation—its institutions and economy—to be of grave concern. An incredibly low 18 percent of the 400 adults surveyed between March 25th...

Obama Still Toughest Democratic Opponent for McCain in Battleground States

In polling conducted in all but one of a half-dozen battleground states during the past week to ten days, Barack Obama continues not only to lead John McCain, but also perform stronger against McCain than his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton. Although Obama's advantage over McCain is in single digits in...

Extended Democratic Primary Gives McCain a Boost in Wisconsin

Last year, Wisconsin appeared ready to vote for a Democratic presidential nominee for the sixth consecutive election. Democratic candidates were defeating Republican candidates in most matchup polls and, in generic partisan matchups, Wisconsinites gave Democrats the edge by double digits in polls conducted in Spring 2007, Summer 2007, and as...

Governors Doyle, Culver Getting Low Marks While Pawlenty Prevails

As economic concerns continue to fuel pessimism about the near future, Democratic Governors Jim Doyle (Wisconsin) and Chet Culver (Iowa) face the lowest ratings of their gubernatorial careers. Meanwhile, Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty has managed quite successfully to remain fairly popular with his statewide constituency. Culver, who comes from...

Economic Conerns Continue to Dominate Upper Midwest

In monthly surveys tracking what is the most important issue facing the next president, the economy has emerged as the dominant issue across the Upper Midwest. SurveyUSA asked 600 likely voters in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin closed-ended questions with eight choices as to what was the most important concern facing...

Bush Approval Rating in Upper Midwest Lingers in the Basement

Despite relatively positive news coming out of Iraq and a new campaign season that has focused the lens of the news media off the sitting president to the new contenders, George W. Bush cannot shake the horrendous job approval rating that he has faced in the Upper Midwest for...

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Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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