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Three Upper Midwestern US Senators Publicly Oppose Bush's New Iraq Strategy

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Less than 12 hours after President George W. Bush's address to the nation revealing his new strategy for victory in Iraq—a strategy that included sending more than 21,000 new troops to the region—three Upper Midwestern senators have expressed public disapproval of the President's plan.

In a press release, Junior Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold stated the President's decision "ignored the recommendations of members of both parties, military leaders, foreign policy experts, and the will of the American people by announcing that he intends to escalate our involvement in Iraq by sending more troops there." Feingold also called for more congressional intervention to help end the Iraq War which he deemed "one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in the history of our nation."

While Feingold has long been against the war in Iraq, some of Bush's more noteworthy critics have come from within the Republican Party. Senior Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman also quickly stated his opposition to the escalation in troops to the region: "I disagree with the President's decision to provide a troop surge in Baghdad. My concern about a troop surge is compounded by the impact it will have on Minnesota National Guard troops in Iraq and their families here at home. I am extremely disappointed by the news that our National Guard soldiers in Iraq will have their tour of duty extended."


Wisconsin's senior Senator, Herb Kohl, chose a less dramatic tone than Feingold, but also stated Bush was acting "Against the advice of many of his senior commanders, the Iraq Study Group, and a clear majority of the American people." Kohl added that "the Iraqis need to take responsibility for their own security. Our soldiers have been stretched to the breaking point, and we can't afford an escalation of our commitment in Iraq."

As of Thursday morning, Upper Midwestern Republican Senators John Thune (SD) and Charles Grassley (IA) had not yet released a statement in defense of (or opposition to) the President's action.

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Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

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.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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