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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

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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