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Clinton Makes Big Gains Against Obama vis-à-vis McCain in Upper Midwest

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In polling conducted just as the Reverend Wright story broke nationally last week, Hillary Clinton appears to have made substantial gains across the Upper Midwest in terms of her relative competitiveness with Republican nominee John McCain, as compared to her competitor Barack Obama.

SurveyUSA polls of 500+ registered voters in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, found Clinton to have racked up double-digit gains across all states, compared to polling conducted by the organization one-month prior in mid-February.

In February, Senator Obama held a 15-point lead over McCain in Minnesota, 55 to 40 percent, compared to just a 4-point lead for Clinton—a net 11-point relative advantage for Obama. In the new March poll, however, Obama trails McCain by 1-point (47 to 46 percent) and Clinton leads McCain by 3 points (49 to 46 percent)—a net 4-point advantage for Clinton. This marks a 15-point turnaround in one month for Clinton, measuring her relative performance against McCain with Obama in the Gopher State.

In Wisconsin, Obama led McCain by 10 points in February, 52 to 42 percent, with Clinton trailing McCain by 7 points, or a 17-point relative advantage for Obama. This month, Obama leads McCain by only 4 points (48 to 44 percent) and Clinton now leads McCain by 1-point (46 to 45 percent), for a net 3-point advantage for Obama. This marks a 14-point gain in one month for Clinton, measuring her relative performance against McCain with Obama in the Badger State.

In Iowa, Obama led McCain by 10 points in February (51 to 41 percent), while Clinton trailed the Arizona Senator by 11 points (52 to 41 percent)—a 21-point relative advantage for Obama. This month, Obama leads McCain by 6 points (50 to 44 percent) while Clinton has cut the McCain lead to 4 points (48 to 44 percent). This marks an 11-point gain in one month for Clinton, measuring her relative performance against McCain with Obama in the Hawkeye State.

One of Obama's strengths as a potential Democratic nominee was his ability to lure crucial independent voters to the Democratic side. The Illinois Senator now appears quite vulnerable in retaining that key constituency.

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Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


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.


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