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Pollster Interest in Minnesota Gubernatorial Race Only Up Slightly from 2006

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Even though three surveys have been released during the last week (by Rasmussen, the Star Tribune, and today's survey by Minnesota Public Radio / Humphrey Institute), pollster interest in the Gopher State's gubernatorial contest is about on par with what it was in 2006 at this stage of the election cycle.

There have been 14 non-partisan public polls released thus far in 2010 of the three-way race for the governor's office between DFLer Mark Dayton (pictured), Republican Tom Emmer, and Independence Party nominee Tom Horner: five by Rasmussen, four by SurveyUSA (KSTP-TV sponsored), three by MPR / Humphrey Institute, and two by the Star Tribune.

Back in 2006, there had been 12 such polls released through September of that year between Tim Pawlenty and DFLer Mike Hatch: six by Rasmussen, two by the Star Tribune, two by SurveyUSA, and one each by the Humphrey Institute and MPR / Pioneer Press. (Eight of these polls included IP candidate Peter Hutchinson).

The modest uptick in polling at this point in the campaign is a bit curious considering 2010 is an open-seat race with three viable candidates.

Of course, polls cost money, but even though many private news organizations are enduring tighter budgets as compared to four years ago, Star Tribune and KSTP-sponsored polls are actually up this cycle (six) compared to 2006 (four).

Other states, however, have seen a much more noticeable boost in public polling of their gubernatorial races.

For example, Georgia's open-seat governor's race has been polled 12 times in 2010 compared to just four times through September 2006 when Sonny Perdue ran for reelection.

Of course, there are still two more days left in September - more numbers on Minnesota's race could be coming down the chute soon.

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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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