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Bush Approval Rating in Upper Midwest Lingers in the Basement

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Despite relatively positive news coming out of Iraq and a new campaign season that has focused the lens of the news media off the sitting president to the new contenders, George W. Bush cannot shake the horrendous job approval rating that he has faced in the Upper Midwest for nearly two and a half years.

New polling from SurveyUSA finds Bush's approval rating to be nearly identical across the Upper Midwest:

Iowa: 32 percent approve, 65 percent disapprove
Minnesota: 32 percent approve, 64 percent disapprove
Wisconsin: 31 percent approve, 67 percent disapprove

With all three of these states prime battleground targets in the 2008 race, the uniformly critical view of Bush's performance in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin seems to be the biggest potential albatross for Republican nominee John McCain, who is polling quite competitively in these states.

Independents, long McCain's strong suit, have not been friendly to the Bush administration in these states for quite some time, with less than one-third currently approving of Bush's job performance in each state:

Iowa: 26 percent approve
Minnesota: 29 percent approve
Wisconsin: 30 percent approve

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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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