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Weekend Upper Midwestern Presidential Poll Roundup

The nearly uniform surge enjoyed by Barack Obama in the national polls over John McCain this past week has so far only translated into a bump in the polls in the Upper Midwest in the state of Wisconsin, with his narrow advantage in Minnesota and larger advantage in Iowa remaining...

Upper Midwestern Presidential Poll Roundup

A deluge of public opinion polls has surfaced during the past week gauging voter preferences in the presidential race, particularly in the Upper Midwest – home to three of the nation’s classic battleground states. In Minnesota, the three latest polls tell a similar story: John McCain has narrowed the double-digit...

Upper Midwesterns Back McCain on Foreign Policy; Domestic Policy Mixed

A series of SurveyUSA polls across the Upper Midwest finds registered voters more confident John McCain can better handle foreign policy issues and immigration, while Barack Obama has the edge on health care. In a surprising turn, Obama ends up with a draw against McCain on economic issues. The polls,...

Obama Lead Narrows in Iowa While Harkin’s Lead Expands

In another bit of sobering news for the Barack Obama campaign, a new Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters in Iowa finds his double-digit lead over John McCain from a month ago now standing at 5 points. In July, Obama’s lead was measured at 48 to 38 percent over McCain,...

Iowa House Democrats Eye to Expand Advantage in '08

Iowa Democrats seek to retain control of the House of Representatives in back-to-back elections for the first time since 1988/1990. Democrats won control of the House in 2006 with a 5-seat gain (as projected by Smart Politics), ending a 14-year reign by the GOP. In 2008, Democrats take a 53...

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...

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...

Battleground States Through the Lens of the U.S. Senate

What makes a battleground state a battleground state? For one, obviously, presidential races decided by narrow victory margins. But another way is to examine how a state has voted in other statewide elections. Does a state tend to only elect Democrats, only Republicans, or a mixture? The most widely circulated...

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,...

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...

Obama in Iowa and Minnesota: Standing Where Kerry Stood in 2004

Barack Obama has enjoyed not only a lead over John McCain in all but one of more than 25 national polls conducted since early May 2008, but also a consistent advantage in early polling in two key Upper Midwestern battleground states: Iowa and Minnesota. However, Obama's lead in these states—which...

Obama Leads McCain in Iowa in 18th Consecutive Poll

Barack Obama is leading John McCain in the important battleground state of Iowa for the 18th consecutive matchup poll, dating back to December 2006. The new poll, conducted June 10th of 500 likely voters by Rasmussen, gives Obama a 45 to 38 percent advantage, with 7 percent supporting some other...

Obama Sustains Advantage Over McCain in Iowa

The latest SurveyUSA poll of 600 registered voters in Iowa still finds Barack Obama on his way to taking back the Hawkeye State for the Democratic Party in 2008. Obama leads John McCain 47 to 38 percent in the poll conducted May 21-22. Obama has led McCain in all 15...

Iowans Outlook on America Bleakest in 10 Years

A new Rasmussen poll of 500 likely Iowa voters, conducted May 13th, finds only 11 percent of Iowans believe the country is heading in the right direction. An astounding 84 percent believe it is off on the wrong track—more than 10 points higher than the previous high during the past...

Harkin (D-IA) Coasting in 2008 Senate Re-election Bid

Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin enjoys a huge lead in his bid for a fifth consecutive term as junior Senator from the Hawkeye State, according to a new poll released this weekend by KCCI-TV / Research 2000. The survey of 600 likely voters gave Harkin leads of between 29 and 39...

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...

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...



Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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