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Quinnipiac: Obama Breaks Out to Double Digit Leads in MN, WI

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Polls released this morning by Quinnipiac University of more than 1,500 likely voters in both Minnesota and Wisconsin show Barack Obama staked to his largest lead to date over John McCain in each battleground state.

In Minnesota, the poll (which, due to its large sample size has a margin of error of just 2.5 percent), found Obama garnering the support of 54 percent of likely voters, with 37 percent for McCain, and 8 percent undecided. Obama’s previous largest advantage was 15 points as measured by Rasmussen in mid-May and mid-February. The Quinnipiac poll comes on the heels of a poll released a little more than a week ago by SurveyUSA, which found Obama with just a 1-point margin over McCain among likely voters.

As demonstrated in recent surveys by Rasmussen, the economy is currently the most important issue determining vote choice this year in the Gopher State. Of the five options provided to interviewees, 51 percent of Minnesotans cited the economy, with 21 percent citing the war in Iraq, 11 percent for health care, 5 percent for illegal immigration, and 5 percent for terrorism. Obama had a 2.6 to 1 advantage over McCain for those citing the war in Iraq as the most important issue and a 1.6 to 1 advantage over McCain for those citing the economy. McCain had a 7 to 1 advantage over Obama for those citing terrorism (fueling the chatter among some pundits, and, recently, a top McCain campaign official, that a terrorist attack on the United States would be a big advantage for McCain in November).

In Wisconsin, Quinnipiac measured Obama’s lead at 52 to 39 percent – tied for his largest advantage over McCain in matchup polls released this campaign season (along with an early June University of Wisconsin poll). Eight percent were undecided. Wisconsin has voted for Democratic nominees in the past 5 presidential elections, although with an average victory margin of just 3.8 points.

Wisconsinites also cited the economy as the most important issue determining their presidential vote choice (47 percent), followed by the war in Iraq (20 percent), health care (14 percent), terrorism (8 percent), and illegal immigration (4 percent). Obama’s advantage over McCain for “Iraq voters? was 3 to 1, and 1.5 to 1 for “economy voters.? McCain bests Obama by a 12.2 to 1 margin for those citing terrorism as the most important issue.

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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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