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Female Legislators in MN At Record High; IA, WI, and SD Lag Behind National Average

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Minnesota voters set a record in November 2006 by electing the highest percentage of female legislators to both the state House (43, 32.1 percent) and Senate (27, 40.3 percent) in Gopher State history.

Overall, at 34.8 percent, Minnesota ranks 4th in the nation in terms of the highest percentage of female statehouse legislators, behind Vermont (37.2 percent), New Hampshire (36.2 percent), and Colorado (35.0 percent), according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislators.

The percentage of female State Senators has more than quintupled in Minnesota since 1980 (7.5 percent) and nearly doubled since 1990 (20.9 percent). The percentage of women serving in the House has nearly doubled since 1980 (14.2 percent).

Iowa and Wisconsin, tied for 26th in the nation with 22.7 percent, were slightly below the national average (23.5 percent). South Dakota ranked 42nd, with females comprising only 17.1 percent of its legislators.

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of the 1,735 female legislators serving in statehouses nationwide are Democrats.

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Remains of the Data

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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