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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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Remains of the Data

Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

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Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


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).


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