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Obama's Numbers Sinking As Pastor Controversy Continues

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As news broke last week in the mainstream media of videotaped statements by Barack Obama's friend and Reverend spouting what most Americans view as radical, racially-fused, anti-American political rhetoric, Obama's lead over Hillary Clinton in national polls for the Democratic presidential nomination began to break as well.

One week ago, on March 13th, Obama was leading Clinton by 6 points, 50 to 44 percent, in Gallup's daily tracking survey of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters—marking his largest lead since losing 3 of 4 states, including Texas and Ohio, to Clinton on March 4th.

By Friday the 14th, when news of Reverend Jeremiah Wright was gaining steam, Obama's lead was cut to 49 to 46 percent. After a weekend of Wright's video being played countless times in the broadcast media, and a generally unsatisfactory reaction to the political crisis by Obama in interviews and on the campaign trail, Clinton overtook Obama by two points—47 to 45 percent on Sunday, March 16th.

Clinton's lead edged upwards to 3 points, 47 to 44 percent, on Monday, and polling through Tuesday the 18th gave Clinton a 49 to 42 percent lead—a lead outside the margin of error. There will be a floor to Obama's drop, to be sure, as many of his core supporters are probably not troubled by the substance of Wright's comments, though even those supporters would probably privately acknowledge they are troubled by the effect those comments are having on the once very rosy future of Obama's presidential campaign.

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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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