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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

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Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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