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New Lows for Bush in Wisconsin and Iowa

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President George W. Bush's job approval ratings have dipped to record lows in both Wisconsin and Iowa, according to the latest round of surveys released this month by the pollster SurveyUSA.

In a poll of 600 adults conducted May 11-13, only 32 percent of Wisconsinites approved of Bush's performance—down from the previous low of 33 percent set last month. This is the lowest approval rating by any public poll in Wisconsin released during Bush's tenure in the White House. A record 67 percent of Badger State residents disapprove of Bush's performance. One year ago, Bush was polling in the mid- to high 30s in Wisconsin, and two years ago, when SurveyUSA began regular approval ratings, Bush received marks in the low 40s.

In Iowa, SurveyUSA measured the Bush approval rating at 31 percent—a record low, just as the 67 percent disapproval rating was a record high for Bush in the Hawkeye State. The previous lowest approval rating measured by SurveyUSA was 34 percent, set last month.

The low marks in Iowa reported by SurveyUSA were trumped, however, by the latest KCCI-TV / Research 2000 poll, conducted May 14-16 of 600 likely voters. In that poll only 30 percent of Iowans approved of Bush's performance, while 68 percent disapproved.

This "Bush drag" unquestionably hurt GOP Congressional and state legislative candidates in the November 2006 elections. If Bush's approval ratings do not improve in the next year and a half, the question will become whether or not this drag will be trumped by the enthusiasm the new Republican presidential candidate can buoy with Republicans and independent voters in crucial swing states, like Iowa and Wisconsin.

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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

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

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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