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The 'Nays' Have It: Upper Midwest Senate Delegation & Full Body Vote Against Immigration Bill

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On Thursday the United States Senate voted against cloture on the high profile immigration reform bill that divided politicians on Capitol Hill much more than the American public. Overall, a vast majority of Americans opposed the bill, advocating 'enforcement first' immigration policies, such as sealing the border, before contemplating whether or not potential citizenship opportunities should be offered to any of the 12 million estimated illegal aliens currently residing in the United States. The senate legislation sought to address both of these concerns.

The 53-46 vote against cloture witnessed a division within political parties: 12 Republicans voted for cloture, while 15 Democrats voted against it—including several newly elected Democratic Senators in right-leaning or purple states: Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jim Webb of Virginia, John Tester of Montana, and Sharrod Brown of Ohio.

The Upper Midwest Senate delegation voted 4-3 against cloture as well. Democrats Amy Klobuchar (MN), Herb Kohl (WI), and Russ Feingold (WI) supported the legislation, while Republicans Charles Grassley (IA), John Thune (SD), and Norm Coleman (MN) were joined by Democrat Tom Harkin (IA) against ending debate (SD senior Senator Tim Johnson is now in his seventh month recovering from an illness that has kept him from voting since December 2006).

Harkin released a statement indicating he was largely in favor of the legislation, with the caveat that the bill did not offer enough protection to American workers as the influx of additional immigrants would "drive down wages and benefits, and weaken the bargaining power of all workers."

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Remains of the Data

Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


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).


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