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Sen. Johnson Makes First Public Appearance in SD Since Illness

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On Tuesday evening Sioux Falls hosted a "Welcome Back" celebration marking Democratic Senator Tim Johnson's birthday and return to South Dakota for the first time since nearly losing his life last December. The Senator spoke for a little more than 10 minutes and declared, "I am back," to a room full of roaring applause.

South Dakota's Democratic at-large Representative Stephanie Herseth moderated the event, which also included an appearance and warm speech by Republican Governor Mike Rounds. (Republican Senator John Thune was out of the country and unable to attend the event, but videotaped a message for Johnson).

Rounds is considered to be one of the few Republicans in state who would have any chance at unseating the extremely popular Johnson in next year's election, should Johnson decide to run. The Governor, however, is not expected to make such a run in 2008 with Johnson on the ballot (Rounds was re-elected for his second term as Governor last year).

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Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

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73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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