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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

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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