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One Pollster's Explanation for the Clinton-Obama Miss in NH

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In addition to the media, pollsters have been on the defensive during the last two days trying to offer explanations for missing out in a big way on Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire on Tuesday night. One such pollster, American Research Group (ARG), has offered an interesting spin on their polling results.

ARG released 18 surveys on the New Hampshire race dating back to December 2006, including 5 polls in the last week and a half before the primary. In its latest poll, conducted January 6-7 (the end date being the day before voting), ARG measured Barack Obama's support at 40 percent, Clinton at 31 percent, and Edwards at 20 percent.

ARG boasted:

"While we missed the final number that Clinton would make in New Hampshire, our polling was one of only two daily polls that showed Clinton regaining support following her drop in New Hampshire the day after the Iowa Democratic caucus. Clinton was moving up in the final days and hours before the primary, and our polls and the Rasmussen polls were the only daily polls to catch Clinton's rebound."

What ARG does not mention is that only 4 pollsters conducted surveys through January 7th and neither Rasmussen nor ARG had Clinton polling as high as another poll - Suffolk University (who found Clinton's support at 34 percent). In fact, of these 4 pollsters, ARG showed Clinton with the second largest deficit (9 points). Suffolk showed a 6-point deficit, Rasmussen showed a 7-point deficit, and Zogby showed a 13-point deficit.

ARG's claim that their data found Clinton regaining support is true: in their last three polls she gained from 26 to 28 to 31 percent. But ARG fails to mention that Obama was also gaining support in those same three polls: from 38 to 39 to 40 percent.

ARG's final word on the matter is perhaps the most striking:

"We did not have a polling problem, we just ran out of time."

Now that is the kind of spin some of the candidates could use in their campaigns.

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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

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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

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