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Rasmussen Poll: Obama Up Big in MN, IA, Competitive in the Dakotas

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Barack Obama is looking to become the first Democratic candidate to sweep the Upper Midwest since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. New polling by Rasmussen indicates Obama is currently competitive enough in the Dakotas to have a chance at doing just that.

In South Dakota, a survey of 500 likely voters conducted on July 9th finds John McCain with a 44 to 40 percent lead, with 7 percent supporting a third party candidate and 9 percent uncertain. South Dakota has only voted Democratic one time in a presidential race since 1940 (for LBJ in ’64) and just three times since Statehood (also voting for FDR in 1932 and 1936). An Obama win in South Dakota would therefore assure that John McCain lost the White House in a landslide election.

A poll of 500 likely North Dakota voters released last week by Rasmussen found McCain and Obama deadlocked in a 43 to 43 percent tie.

In Minnesota, Rasmussen’s poll of 500 likely voters on July 10th measures Obama’s lead at 17 points – 52 to 35 percent – the same margin yielded by Quinnipiac’s late June survey. Obama has polled ahead of McCain by double digits in six of the last eight matchup polls in the Gopher State.

According to a July 10th Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters in Iowa, Obama leads McCain by 10 points – 51 to 41 percent. Obama has led McCain in all public polling conducted this year, but his advantage had not risen to double-digits since mid-February until this new survey.

Rasmussen’s July 8th poll in Wisconsin also found Obama up by double-digits: 50 to 39 percent. As discussed at Smart Politics on June 30th, Wisconsin and Iowa have voted together in 35 of 40 presidential elections since 1848.

George W. Bush is giving Obama an early Christmas present with low approval ratings across all five states: 37 percent in North Dakota, 34 percent in Wisconsin, 33 percent in South Dakota, 29 percent in Iowa, and a record 24 percent in Minnesota.

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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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