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First MN Poll of Pres. Primary Matchups Released

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The Star Tribune's Minnesota Poll has released the first public poll of Democratic and Republican primary matchups in the Gopher State. It should be noted that the poll, conducted from a sample of 802 adults from September 18-23, has a very large margin of error for the Democratic (MoE = 8.0) and Republican (MoE = 9.0) subgroups. Most public state polls employ a larger sample of interviewees, with a margin of error between 3 and 5 points. Also, the Minnesota Poll was conducted among adults only, not registered or likely primary voters (only a fraction of adults participate in the primary process).

Unlike the very competitive race among the Democrats that is going on south of the border in Iowa, Hillary Clinton (47 percent) has more than double the support of Barack Obama (22 percent), her nearest competitor in Minnesota. John Edwards, who received 27 percent of the open caucus vote in Minnesota back in March 2004, came in third with 16 percent. All other candidates received 2 percent or less with 7 percent undecided.

The Republican race is much more competitive, with Rudy Giuliani leading the way with 27 percent, followed by John McCain (22 percent), and Fred Thompson (16 percent). Mitt Romney, who has been ahead in Iowa polling for several months and who has run television ads in Minnesota, came in fourth at 5 percent. Tom Tancredo (3 percent), Mike Huckabee (2 percent), Ron Paul (2 percent), Duncan Hunter (1 percent), and Sam Brownback (1 percent) rounded out the bottom tier. Eleven percent were undecided.

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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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