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Jim Doyle Approval Rating Continues to Tumble

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A majority of Wisconsin residents (52 percent) now disapprove of Democratic Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle's job performance, according to a new poll released this week by SurveyUSA. For only the second time in 26 consecutive monthly polls of 600 Wisconsin residents dating back to May 2005, more than 50 percent of Wisconsinites disapprove of Doyle's work as Governor, with just 41 percent approving of his performance.

Doyle has struggled at times this session to push his agenda through the state legislature (which has split control: Democrats have an 18-15 majority in the Senate while Republicans hold a 52-47 majority in the Assembly). Doyle's plan to expand state welfare programs was stalled in the legislature and this past month the Governor and Republican leaders have had a rhetorical battle while they posture in advance of negotiations on the state's $58 billion budget through the next two years.

Doyle enjoyed his highest approval numbers (55 percent) when he was re-elected last November with 53 percent of the vote (SurveyUSA, November 2006). But his numbers have slipped almost every month since: 49 percent in December 2006, 48 percent in January, 47 percent in February, 45 percent in March, back up to 48 percent in April, then down to 46 percent last month, and 41 percent in June.

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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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