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Tom Vilsack Ends Presidential Run

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Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack ended his bid for the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination today, citing difficulties in raising enough money to launch a viable campaign. Vilsack was the first democrat to officially enter the race last November.

Vilsack was polling at a distant 4th in his home state of Iowa for that state's Caucus next January, even though he left office as a popular governor with a job approval rating in the mid- to high 50s. Nationally, Vilsack was polling in the low single digits, behind even non-candidates like former Vice President Al Gore.

It will be interesting to see which Democratic candidate benefits from Vilsack's departure in Iowa; Vilsack was polling at around 10 percent. Vilsack is a centrist democrat who fought tax hikes as the governor of the Hawkeye state and who also deployed Iowa National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican last year to beef up border security at President George W. Bush's request.

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Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

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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