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Michigan Decision Likely To Shift Primary Schedule Once Again

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Michigan's decision to move its primary to January 15, 2008—a decision signed into law yesterday by Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm—is sure to have a domino effect on the primary calendar, perhaps moving Iowa's caucuses up to December 2007.

New Hampshire was slated to be the nation's first primary on January 22nd (though South Carolina had already planned to hold its Republican primary on January 19th). New Hampshire will undoubtedly move its primary date up in the month as its "first in the nation" status is actually written into state law.

Republican and Democratic National Party rules have sanctions against states that hold their primaries earlier than prescribed by the party (this election season, February 5th is the cut-off point). After Florida moved its primary up to January 29th, proposed sanctions include having the state lose up to half of its delegates.

The decision by states such as Florida and Michigan appear to indicate they believe having half the delegates in an early contest that means something is more important than having all the delegates count in a primary which means little later in the election season.

Iowa's Governor Chet Culver has assured that his state will hold the nation's first presidential contest—which could mean caucuses in December 2007. That would be several weeks early than the Iowa caucuses held in 2004 (January 19th), 2000 (January 24th), and 1996 (February 12th).

Influential smaller states like Iowa and New Hampshire have not surprisingly been resistant to the recent call by some to have a 'national primary day.'

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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?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


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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