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Third Parties Garnering Support In Key Statewide Races

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A recent report by Gallup indicates muted support for third party candidates thus far in the 2008 presidential race. In an open-ended question asking likely voters for which candidate they would cast their presidential ballot, only 2 percent cited third party candidates (1 percent each for Libertarian candidate Bob Barr and independent candidate Ralph Nader).

Although the candidacies of Barr and Nader may not have gained traction yet nationally, third party candidates in other high profile statewide races are already making their mark.

For example, in Colorado’s open U.S. Senate race, the latest Rocky Mountain News poll (August 11-13) finds left-leaning independent candidate Buddy Moore receiving the support of 5 percent of registered voters and Green Party candidate Bob Kinsey earning another 2 percent. Democrat Mark Udall is favored to win this open seat, but currently holds just a 6-point lead over Republican Bob Schaffer.

In North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race, GOP incumbent and frontrunner Elizabeth Dole holds a mere 5-point lead in SurveyUSA’s August 9-11 poll of likely voters, while Libertarian Chris Cole is pulling down 7 percent. Cole’s candidacy may yet put the race in play for Democrat Kay Hagan.

In North Carolina’s open gubernatorial race, Republican Pat McCrory trails Democrat Beverly Perdue by 3 points, with Libertarian Mike Munger currently polling at 5 percent.

In the highly watched Oregon U.S. Senate race, GOP incumbent Gordon Smith has built a surprising double-digit cushion over Democrat Jeff Merkley according to the latest SurveyUSA poll (August 2-4), despite Constitution Party candidate Dave Brownlow netting an impressive 8 percent of likely voters. Smith was once considered a prized Democratic target, although the moderate Republican Senator has distanced himself early (and often) from President George W. Bush on the War in Iraq, which will earn him points in the Beaver State. Still, Republicans should worry that a strong Brownlow candidacy could tilt the race if it begins to narrow.

Democrats will be particularly interested in the next U.S. Senate poll conducted in Minnesota that includes the name of the Independence Party winner of the September 9th primary. The Independence Party vote is expected to be a drag on the candidacy of DFL-er Al Franken.

Previous post: Obama Support Falls To Lowest Mark Against McCain in Rasmussen’s Minnesota Polling
Next post: Number of Undecided Voters Increasing in Minnesota Senate Race

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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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