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New MPR / HHH Poll Finds Clinton, McCain with Edge in Minnesota

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A Minnesota Public Radio / Humphrey Institute survey of 917 Minnesotans conducted January 20-27 finds Hillary Clinton and John McCain with an edge in the presidential nomination race in the Gopher State (view the report). The pollsters note the survey was not conducted among likely caucus voters, so expect some fluidity in the race, especially in light of the recent departures by Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards.

On the Democratic side, Clinton led Obama 40 to 33 percent, with 12 percent for Edwards and 13 percent undecided. Clinton led Obama by a whopping 56 to 17 percent margin three months ago in a SurveyUSA poll, so Obama seems to have made great inroads in Minnesota and is definitely in play here.

On the Republican side, McCain led Mike Huckabee 41 to 22 percent, with 17 percent for Mitt Romney, 6 percent for Giuliani, 5 percent for Ron Paul, and 10 percent undecided. Several GOP candidates have already been running media spots in Minnesota—including Huckabee and Paul. Three months ago SurveyUSA found Giuliani with nearly half of the support of Republican registered voters in the state (47 percent) with no other candidate above 20 percent.

The survey also found Clinton and Obama handily leading McCain, Huckabee, and Romney in all head-to-head matchups.

Clinton led McCain 48 to 38 percent, Huckabee 55 to 31 percent, and Romney 55 to 32 percent. Clinton has led Romney in all 12 previous matchup polls by SurveyUSA and Rasmussen as well as all 4 previous matchup contests against Huckabee measured by SurveyUSA. Past poll results have found the New York and Arizona Senators locked in closer battles in the Gopher State, with McCain leading Clinton by 4 points in a SurveyUSA poll conducted 10 days ago.

Obama led McCain by a slightly larger margin (50 to 37 percent) and doubled-up on Huckabee (58 to 28 percent) and Romney (56 to 28 percent). Obama has led Romney and Huckabee in all previous public polling matchups. SurveyUSA, however, has previously measured McCain ahead of Obama in Minnesota, in November (46 to 43 percent), December (50 to 41 percent), and mid-January (49 to 42 percent).

The caucuses will be held in Minnesota on Super Tuesday, February 5th.

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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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