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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

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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