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Obama Maintains Double-Digit Lead in Wisconsin

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A new Rasmussen survey of 500 likely voters in Wisconsin finds Barack Obama maintaining a substantial lead over John McCain. The Rasmussen poll measures Obama’s advantage over McCain at 11 points – 50 to 39 percent.

These results are in line with the three previous Wisconsin surveys conducted during the past month that measured Obama’s lead at 13 points (Quinnipiac, June 17-24), 9 points (SurveyUSA, June 13-16), and 13 points (Badger Poll, June 8-10). Obama has now led McCain in 6 straight polls dating back to mid-May and 12 of 15 polls since January 2008.

Despite the double-digit deficit and ominous political environment for the Senator from Arizona, there was some good news for McCain coming out of the Rasmussen survey: McCain boasts a favorability rating of 57 percent – approximately 5 points higher than George W. Bush in his re-election campaign in late June 2004 (Badger Poll). The problem for McCain is that Obama is seen in even a more favorable light – 61 percent – and noticeably more than 2004 Badger State victor John Kerry from four years ago (48 percent, Los Angeles Times poll).

What this means is that McCain is liked well enough by Wisconsin voters to put him in a competitive position, especially in the face of a misstep by Obama. McCain is campaigning in Wisconsin today – his third general election visit to the Badger State.

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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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