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Hatch Builds Lead in New Humphrey Institute Poll

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Excerpts from a new report by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance on its latest poll on the Minnesota Governor's race:

Even though the race remains too close to call, Attorney General Mike Hatch has opened up a narrow 6 point lead over Governor Tim Pawlenty, 45 percent to 39 percent, with just over a week before Election Day. Independence Party candidate Peter Hutchinson is drawing 9 percent, with 7 percent still undecided. The Humphrey Institute survey of 663 likely Minnesota voters was conducted October 23-28, 2006 and has a 3.8 margin of error.

Hatch's edge results from three factors:

1. The Minnesotan electorate is tilting toward the Democratic Party. Democrats are more fired up to vote and the Republican Party's "brand name" has been tarnished.

2. Voters are adopting a more sour evaluation of the state's circumstances, the Governor's performance, and his personality compared to Hatch's. The concerns of voters are dominated by "Democratic issues" (health care, education, and the Iraq War); the issues promoted by the Governor and Republicans (illegal immigration, gay marriage, and terrorism) do not rank highly on voters' agenda.

3. A backlash against President Bush and the Iraq War is hurting the Governor.

The outcome of the contest could still break in the Governor's favor during the final days of the campaign if undecided voters break for him and he picks up support from wayward Democrats and current Hutchinson backers.

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Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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