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Clinton Unable To Pull Away from GOP in WI

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A new survey of likely Wisconsin voters finds Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in a dead heat against three of the top four Republican candidates. Even though Wisconsin has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1984, and even though George W. Bush has a current job approval rating of 36 percent, Clinton does not receive more than 45 percent support in matchups against Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain, or Mitt Romney, according to an October 3 Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters.

Wisconsin has decidedly leaned Democratic in recent years. In 2006, the party picked up an open U.S. House seat, won back control of the State Senate, and picked up 8 seats in the State Assembly. The Badger State also re-elected Democratic Governor Jim Doyle, despite the Governor carrying job approval ratings in the mid-40s throughout much of 2006 (Doyle has a 38 percent approval rating in the new Rasmussen survey).

Despite this pro-Democratic Party trend, the state is not enamored thus far with the former First Lady. Clinton has a very high 47 percent unfavorable rating, but remains competitive because Giuliani (44 percent), McCain (44 percent), and Romney (48 percent) have high unfavorable ratings as well (Thompson's unfavorable rating was 39 percent, with 12 percent undecided).

In head-to-head matchups, Clinton leads Giuliani 43-42 percent, Thompson 44-41 percent, and McCain 43-40 percent—all within the margin of error. Clinton leads Romney 45-35 percent. Matchups for this Rasmussen poll were not conducted with Barack Obama and John Edwards, the other top Democratic contenders.

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Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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