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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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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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