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Minnesotans' Outlook on U.S. Economy Quite Bleak

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With the 2008 general election just about seven months away, Minnesotans are very wary about the state of the nation's economy, and appear to be ready to vote for a candidate who can best protect their pocketbook.

The percentage of Gopher State residents who view the U.S. economy as 'excellent' or 'good' is now just one-third of what it was 1.5 years ago, according to polling by Rasmussen. In November 2006, 42 percent of likely voters in the state had a rosy view of the nation's economy, with 57 percent rating it as 'fair' or 'poor.' But, in a new poll released last week of 500 likely voters, the percentage viewing the economy as 'excellent' or 'good' dropped to just 14 percent.

Nor do Minnesotans expect the economy to stabilize or improve any time soon: just 6 percent believe national economic conditions are going to improve and 12 percent believe they will stay the same; a whopping 76 percent believe the economy is going to take an even larger turn for the worse.

Polling research from the Humphrey Institute in the last presidential election cycle found Minnesotans believe the best way for the economy to improve was to reduce the budget deficit: 49 percent thought reducing the budget deficit was the best method, while 30 percent believed cutting taxes was the correct remedy (15 percent believed the answer rests 'in between').

To be sure, John McCain and the future Democratic presidential nominee will need to address economic concerns in their campaign platforms to win over voters in Minnesota. Economic concerns have ranked as the most important issue affecting presidential vote choice in Rasmussen polls conducted both in early February before the caucuses and in the brand new poll conducted on March 19th.

Most important issue affecting presidential vote choice (Rasmussen, 500 LV)
Economy = 39%
The War in Iraq = 20%
National security = 11%
Health care = 9%
Immigration = 8%
Government ethics and corruption = 5%
Social Security = 3%
Other = 2%

Note: closed question format.

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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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