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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

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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