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Polls in KY, OR: Someone Forgot to Tell the Voters 'It's Over'

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Although the media, several prominent Democrats, and even some pollsters (Rasmussen) called the Democratic race 'over' even after Hillary Clinton's 41-point blowout victory in West Virginia, Democratic voters are apparently saying otherwise. Several polls point to 60-plus percent of Democratic voters wanting Hillary Clinton to stay in the race, and the latest surveys out of Kentucky and Oregon show more momentum for the junior Senator from New York.

In Kentucky—a state Smart Politics placed in Clinton's column months ago—a new American Research Group poll of 600 likely voters gives Clinton a West Virginia-esque 65 to 29 percent advantage (May 14-15).

In Oregon—a state the media declared Obama would win easily during its primary night coverage last Tuesday—Obama holds a narrow 5-point lead: 50 to 45 percent (May 14-15). Polls conducted before the West Virginia primary staked Obama to 20-point (Portland Tribune), and 11-point (SurveyUSA) leads.

Even if Obama scores a victory in Oregon—which he is expected to given his near clean sweep of the West so far this primary season—it will not make much of a dent in the few hundred thousand net vote advantage Clinton will win in Kentucky.

Worse still, some states that Obama won during the primary season now also seem to be trending towards Clinton as the stronger Democratic candidate. A new Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters in Kansas give John McCain a 21-point advantage over Obama (55 to 34 percent), but only a 14-point advantage over Clinton (53 to 39 percent). Obama won the Kansas caucuses on Super Tuesday by a resounding 74 to 26 percent margin.

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Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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