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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.

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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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