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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

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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