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Weekend Upper Midwestern Presidential Poll Roundup

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The nearly uniform surge enjoyed by Barack Obama in the national polls over John McCain this past week has so far only translated into a bump in the polls in the Upper Midwest in the state of Wisconsin, with his narrow advantage in Minnesota and larger advantage in Iowa remaining fairly constant.

In Wisconsin, Obama expanded the statistically insignificant 1-point lead he held in two polls two weeks ago to advantages of 5 and 6 points as measured two surveys released this past week:

· WISC-TV / Research 2000: Obama 49%, McCain 43% (September 22-23, 600 LV)
· American Research Group: Obama 50%, McCain 45% (September 18-21, 600 LV)

Two weeks ago, in Minnesota, Obama was tied with McCain in one poll (Star Tribune) and led McCain by two points in two other polls (Big 10 Battleground, SurveyUSA). Last week, three polls were released of likely voters in the Gopher State – two of which still showed the race a dead heat, with a Rasmussen poll showing Obama opening up a lead outside the margin of error:

· Quinnipiac: Obama 47%, McCain 45% (September 14-21, 1,301 LV)
· American Research Group: Obama 48%, McCain 47% (September 18-20, 600 LV)
· Rasmussen: Obama 52%, McCain 44% (September 18, 500 LV)

Obama continues to maintain a notable lead in the state of Iowa – although not quite as large as the 14 and 11-point advantages he held in two polls from two weeks ago. Three polls released this week show the race between 7 and 10 points:

· Rasmussen: Obama 51%, McCain 43% (September 25, 700 LV)
· Marist: Obama 51%, McCain 41% (September 18-21, 467 LV)
· American Research Group: Obama 51%, McCain 44% (September 17-20, 600 LV)

Nationally, almost all tracking polls show Obama opening up a 5 to 8 point lead over the senior Senator from Arizona – an uptick of approximately 3 or 4 points from the previous week.

Previous post: Economic Concerns Nothing New to Upper Midwesterners
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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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