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Norm Coleman Breaks with GOP Party Leadership on Gonzales Vote

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Republican Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman continues to part from his party leadership on the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales issue. On Monday Coleman joined 6 other Republican Senators in a failed attempt (53-38) to invoke cloture for a Senate resolution condemning the beleaguered Attorney General, who is embroiled in an executive-legislative brouhaha regarding the firing of U.S. attorneys. Sixty votes are needed in the Senate to invoke cloture.

Coleman has already publicly called for Gonzales' resignation. Joining Coleman on Monday's vote were Upper Midwestern Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar (MN), Tom Harkin (IA), Russ Feingold (WI), and Herb Kohl (WI). Charles Grassley (R-IA) voted with the Republican leadership and recovering South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson was not present for the vote.

Of the six other Republican Senators to join Coleman, four are from the East (Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins from Maine, John Sununu from New Hampshire, and Arlen Specter of Pennyslvania), one from the Midwest (maverick Republican Chuck Hagel from Nebraska), and one from the West (Gordon Smith of Oregon). Smith, Hagel, Collins, Sununu, and Coleman are all up for reelection in 2008.

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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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