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McCain Only GOP-er to Defeat Dems in Minnesota

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A brand new poll of registered Minnesota voters by SurveyUSA finds John McCain is the only Republican candidate who could beat Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, if the presidential election were held today.

Smart Politics has discussed McCain's viability against the Democrats across key battleground states throughout the past year, most recently in mid-December, when the Arizona Senator was still polling behind Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney (and sometimes Fred Thompson) in all national surveys. John Edwards has consistently been the most viable Democratic candidate against McCain, but his longshot odds to win the Democratic primary has prompted most pollsters to leave him off their matchup poll questions.

In Minnesota, McCain leads Hillary Clinton 49 to 45 percent and Barack Obama 49 to 42 percent in a survey of 550 registered voters (MoE +/- 4.3).

According to SurveyUSA Clinton and Obama would each easily defeat the other three primary Republican contenders if the election were held today:

Clinton 51—Giuliani 40
Clinton 51—Romney 40
Clinton 50—Huckabee 42

Obama 52—Giuliani 36
Obama 55—Romney 36
Obama 49—Huckabee 42

Previous post: Live Blog: State of the GOP and Conservatism in Minnesota
Next post: Smart Politics Study: Giuliani Descent Linked Equally to Huckabee, Romney, and McCain

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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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