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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

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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