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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

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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