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McCain Makes Big Gains in South Dakota

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Continuing the bounce polls indicate he is experiencing in most states West of the Mississippi, John McCain now holds a 17-point advantage in South Dakota, 54 to 37 percent, according to a September 9th Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters.

Back in July, a Rasmussen survey had McCain up by just 4 points over Barack Obama, 44 to 40 percent. However, like in the neighboring states North Dakota and Montana, the “Palin effect? has turned what appeared to be a dead-heat into a comfortable double-digit lead for the Arizona Senator.

Even though (or perhaps because) South Dakotans overwhelming believe Sarah Palin is “very conservative? (50 percent) compared to those who believe Biden is “very liberal? (30 percent), the state is quite supportive of McCain’s pick of the Alaska Governor. Fifty nine percent of likely voters say she was the right choice for McCain, with just 31 percent in disagreement.

Perhaps equally importantly, only 32 percent of South Dakotans believe Joe Biden was the right choice for Obama, with 39 percent in disagreement and many still unsure (29 percent). (Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary in South Dakota back in June).

It is the Republican Party’s hope that voters energized by Palin will not just propel McCain into office, but also give a boost to Republicans down the ballot and the Party overall. The new Rasmussen poll finds George W. Bush getting his highest marks in the state this year with a 38 percent approval rating – up 5 points since July.

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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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