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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

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

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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