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Humphrey Institute / MPR Poll: Franken and Coleman in Tight Race

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The final Humphrey Institute / Minnesota Public Radio poll of Minnesota's U.S. Senate race gives DFL nominee Al Franken a narrow 41 to 37 percent lead over Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley received 17 percent.

From the Humphrey Institute's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance:

The economic downturn, backlash against President Bush and the country’s general direction as well as heightened enthusiasm are boosting Mr. Franken, though he lags 15 points behind the Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama. Senator Coleman is boosted by his standing as a centrist and strong support among evangelicals and voters who regularly attend religious services.

The race remains quite fluid and may well shift in the final days of the campaign. In addition to the 5 percent who are undecided, 13 percent who currently support a candidate indicate that they may change their minds.

The MPR News/Humphrey Institute survey was conducted of 451 likely voters between October 24th and October 28th. The margin of error is 4.6 points.

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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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