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Obama Still Toughest Democratic Opponent for McCain in Battleground States

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In polling conducted in all but one of a half-dozen battleground states during the past week to ten days, Barack Obama continues not only to lead John McCain, but also perform stronger against McCain than his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.

Although Obama's advantage over McCain is in single digits in most of these states, he nonetheless polls stronger than Clinton, who trails McCain in 5 of the 6 battleground states.

  • In New Mexico (Rasmussen, April 8, 500 LV), Obama leads McCain 45 to 42 percent, while McCain edges Clinton 46 to 43 percent. Net Obama advantage over Clinton: 6 points.
    • In Washington (SurveyUSA, April 7, 607 RV), Obama leads McCain 51 to 44 percent, while McCain nips Clinton 46 to 45 percent, a statistical tie. Net Obama advantage over Clinton: 8 points.
    • In Wisconsin, (WPR, March 25- April 5, 400 adults), Obama leads McCain 46 to 42 percent, with McCain leading Clinton by the same tally. Net Obama advantage over Clinton: 8 points.
    • In Iowa (Rasmussen, March 31, 500 LV), Obama leads McCain 46 to 42 percent, with McCain demolishing Clinton 51 to 36 percent. Net Obama advantage over Clinton: 19 points.
    • In Maine (Rasmussen, April 1, 500 LV), Obama has a double digit lead over McCain, 49 to 39 percent, while Clinton leads McCain 47 to 42 percent. Net Obama advantage over Clinton: 5 points.

    Only in Ohio (Rasmussen, April 8, 500 LV), of the battleground states recently surveyed, does Clinton outperform Obama—though just by 2 points. McCain leads Clinton 47 to 42 percent, and leads Obama 47 to 40 percent.

    In non-battleground states that historically favor Republicans, Clinton seems to be polling better against McCain than Obama in the south (e.g. Alabama, Tennessee), while Obama performs better than Clinton in the West (e.g. Montana, Alaska).

    Previous post: Why Clinton Is Not In Trouble In Pennsylvania
    Next post: Wisconsinites Extremely Dour on the National Scene

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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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