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Ramstad Petitions Bush to Find Iraq Solution

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Republican Congressman Jim Ramstad (MN-03) joined 10 of his fellow GOP Congressmen in a meeting at the White House earlier this week to discuss the war in Iraq with President Bush along with members of his cabinet (Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice) and his political advisers.

Ramstad's delegation voiced their frustration with the Iraqi government's performance as well the administration's current Iraq war policy. The members expressed concerns that the administration has contingency plans if the recent surge in U.S troops fails. One political concern expressed by the Congressmen, some of whom represent moderate, swing districts, is that the Iraq issue continues to damage the Republican Party (a concern echoed this week by Republican presidential candidate John McCain). For example, White House meeting attendees Mark Kirk (IL-10) and Charlie Dent (PA-15) won their 2006 races by just 6 points and 9 points respectively. In total, 35 House Republicans won their races by 10 points or less last November, and the GOP can ill-afford to lose any more ground in next year's House elections.

In February of this year Minnesota's Ramstad joined 16 other GOP Congressmen when the House passed a resolution disapproving of Bush's decision to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

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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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