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California a Toss Up for the GOP

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Three new California polls with field dates ending Saturday, February 2nd were released today -- all showing growing momentum for Mitt Romney, despite endorsements this past week for John McCain by Rudy Giuliani and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

All three polls show statistical dead-heats between Romney and McCain:

American Research Group (Feburary 1-2, 600 LV)
Romney = 33%
McCain = 32%
Huckabee = 16%
Paul = 8%
Other / undecided = 11%

Rasmussen (February 2, 693 LV)
Romney = 38%
McCain = 38%
Huckabee = 10%
Paul = 6%
Other / undecided = 8%

* Note: Rasmussen had previously found McCain leading Romney by 7 points in mid-January and by 4 points earlier this week.

Reuters / C-SPAN / Zogby (January 31—February 2, 1,185 LV)
Romney = 37%
McCain = 34%
Huckabee = 12%
Paul = 5%
Other / undecided = 13%

With McCain pulling in significant double-digit leads in Northeastern states like New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York, California becomes an important race for Romney, not so much from a delegate perspective but from a media perspective. A victory over McCain in the largest state in the nation is about the only political event that could derail the momentum and positive media coverage McCain has enjoyed during the past few weeks.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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