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Upper Midwestern States Contemplate Presidential Primary Dates

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As Election 2008 heats up, states across the nation are strategically shuffling their primary and caucus schedules in attempt to become more relevant players in the presidential campaign. Upper Midwestern states are also contemplating changes to their schedules in view of the potential benefits moving up primary voting day would provide—such as increased revenue to the state and gaining the ear of potential nominees.

Iowa, of course, is in no danger of losing its status as the first contest in the nation, although the Hawkeye state did move its caucus date up to the second Monday of January in 2008 (the 14th), one week earlier than in 2004 when it was held on the third Monday of the month (the 19th).

Legislators in South Dakota attempted to move its presidential primary up from June 3rd to February 5th, but the measure was defeated in the state House 35-35 last month. Advocates felt moving the primary date up would increase revenue to the state as well as put South Dakota issues on the agenda of presidential candidates, but opponents remained doubtful those benefits would outweigh the cost of holding an extra statewide election (primary voting is currently held for all district and statewide offices in June).

Wisconsin is slated to hold its primary on the third Tuesday in February (the 19th), just as it did in 2004. The Badger State is the only state scheduled to hold a primary on this day, as it was in 2004 when the state made some headlines as John Edwards came out of nowhere (34 percent) to nearly nip favorite John Kerry (40 percent) at the finish line. While more than one-third of the country will have already held their primaries by the time Wisconsinites vote (including several key states like Florida and California), if the Republican and/or Democratic nominees are still in doubt at that stage, Wisconsin will likely be a key stop on the campaign trail as candidates seek to gain momentum for March 4th when nine states vote (including New York, Texas, and Ohio).

Minnesota held its 2004 primary on the first Tuesday in March, and there have been discussions to move its primary next year to February 19th (like Wisconsin) or as early as February 5th—the Super Tuesday of Election 2008.

Previous post: Turnover in 2008 MN House Party Control Follow-up
Next post: South Dakota Passes Qualified Minimum Wage Increase

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Remains of the Data

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A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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