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Republicans In Minnesota Warming to Obama More Than In Other Upper Midwestern States

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Barack Obama is officially in the ‘honeymoon phase’ of his presidency – the 44th president is just one week into his administration with approval ratings through the roof (67 percent in the latest Gallup survey, with just 14 percent disapproving).

It is no surprise to learn that Democrats and independents are giving Obama high marks and are optimistic that the new administration can begin to solve some of the economic and foreign policy problems that beset the presidency of George W. Bush.

But what about Republicans?

The latest SurveyUSA poll released last week found Republicans in Minnesota to be giving Obama significant support, and the best notices in the Upper Midwest. Obama scored a net +3 in approval rating among GOPers in Minnesota (40 percent approving, 37 percent disapproving), compared to –11 in Wisconsin and –12 in Iowa.

Obama Presidential Approval Rating Among Upper Midwestern Republicans

State
Approve
Disapprove
Net
Minnesota
40
37
+3
Wisconsin
33
44
-11
Iowa
35
47
-12
Note: Polling conducted by SurveyUSA of 600 adults overall in each state, January 20-21, 2009.

What is even more telling, however, is that Minnesota Republicans have also had a longer journey to reach this plurality support of the President. SurveyUSA polls on the eve of the election found Republicans in Minnesota to be voting against Obama at a much higher rate than Republicans in other Upper Midwestern states.

Presidential Vote Choice Among Upper Midwestern Republicans

State
Obama
McCain
Net
Wisconsin
16
82
-66
Iowa
14
83
-69
Minnesota
10
88
-78
Note: Polling conducted by SurveyUSA of 650+ likely voters overall in each state, October 28-29, 2008 (Iowa and Wisconsin) and October 30 – November 1, 2008 (Minnesota).

Exit polling on Election Day also found Republicans to break in larger numbers against Obama in Minnesota (-83) than in Wisconsin (-79) and Iowa (-81).

Minnesota Republicans also gave Obama the fifth highest approval rating among the 14 states SurveyUSA polled nationwide last week – behind only the liberal coastal states of New York, Massachusetts, Washington, and California. Wisconsin and Iowa ranked 12th and 13th respectively.

Obama Presidential Approval Rating Among Republicans In 14 States

State
Approve
Disapprove
Net
New York
63
25
+38
Massachusetts
54
31
+23
Washington
47
34
+13
California
47
36
+11
Minnesota
40
37
+3
New Mexico
40
40
0
Kansas
39
39
0
Oregon
36
39
-3
Missouri
37
42
-5
Kentucky
36
45
-9
Alabama
34
43
-9
Wisconsin
33
44
-11
Iowa
35
47
-12
Virginia
31
44
-13
Note: Polling conducted by SurveyUSA of 600 adults overall in each state, January 20-21, 2009.

Of course, it is unlikely, if and when Al Franken takes a seat on Capitol Hill later this year, that he will experience such a honeymoon period from Minnesota Republicans as that currently enjoyed by Obama.


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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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