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Clinton Not Gaining Ground In Wisconsin

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Despite surging to large double-digit leads in national Democratic presidential nomination polls, Hillary Clinton's support in the Badger State appears to remain stagnant.

In the most recent Gallup national poll taken in mid-August, Clinton had a 21-point lead over Barack Obama, 42 to 21 percent. The fact that Clinton nearly received more than 40 percent in a poll that also included (non-candidate) Al Gore (at 15 percent) indicates Clinton is making great strides in her national campaign among Democrats (Rudy Giuliani only received the support of 32 percent when matched up against his fellow GOP rivals in the August Gallup survey).

In Wisconsin, however, Clinton is not gaining ground against her chief Republican rivals in head-to-head pairings. In 7 months of consecutive polling by SurveyUSA, Clinton has failed to reach the 50 percent mark against Giuliani in every poll—in a state that has voted for the Democratic nominee in each of the last five presidential elections. In the mid-August 2007 SurveyUSA poll, Giuliani and Clinton were tied 46-46 in the Badger State—nearly identical to the 47-45 edge Giuliani held back in February 2007.

Neither does Clinton fare any better against struggling GOP candidate John McCain. In July 2006, Clinton held a 46-36 lead over McCain in a Rasmussen survey; in mid-August 2007 Rasmussen measured Clinton's advantage over McCain in Wisconsin to have been cut in half to just five points—44 to 39 percent.

When paired against Fred Thompson in Wisconsin, Clinton held a 46-43 percent lead in mid-April 2007 and a 48-45 percent lead in the most recent mid-August 2007 poll (SurveyUSA).

Finally, Clinton's lead over Mitt Romney has dropped from double digit leads in March (51-37), May (52-37), and July (52-39) to just 7 points in mid-August (49-42) (SurveyUSA).

Thus, while Clinton appears to be successful at the moment in bolstering the support of the Democratic base (expanding her lead nationally for the nomination), her raw numbers in general election matchups are not moving in her favor in key battleground states like Wisconsin.

Clinton has very high negative favorability numbers in Wisconsin (49 percent in a mid-August 2007 Rasmussen poll). This means Clinton will be fighting a difficult battle in her hopes to pry away enough independents and liberal Republican supporters to win the Badger State, should she become the Democratic Party nominee.

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By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


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