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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

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

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.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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