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Wisconsinites Remain Sour about Bush, Direction of Country

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A mid-June Badger Poll, conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, finds the vast majority of Wisconsin residents are quite pessimistic about both national politics as well as the direction of the nation.

Only 33 percent of Wisconsinites are satisfied with the direction of the United States—virtually the same results found by the Badger Poll in a survey conducted in a late October 2006 (32 percent) in advance of that fall's general election. Sixty-three percent are disatisfied.

In addition to having strong concerns about foreign policy and the situation in Iraq, Badger State residents have a particularly sour view about the state of the nation's economy, with only 16 percent expecting economic conditions to get better during the next year, while more than double that amount (37 percent) expecting it to get worse. National economic forecasting was much rosier for Wisconsinites in March 2002 (56 percent 'better'), October 2004 (46 percent) and May 2005 (31 percent).

President Bush's approval rating—at 30 percent—mirrors that found in several recent polls both nationally and in the state of Wisconsin. However, although Congress gets fairly low marks nationally, at 41 percent Wisconsinites have much a higher approval rating of the legislative branch. The poll also found that by more than a four-to-one margin, Wisconsin residents believe the level of ethics and honest in Washington, D.C. has fallen (45 percent) during the Bush presidency compared to risen (10 percent). About half (44 percent) feel things have stayed about the same.

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Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


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.


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