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Smart Politics Projections: Wisconsin State Senate

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Republicans to take back control of Senate during GOP wave in Wisconsin

Current partisan split
Democrats: 18
Republicans: 15

On the ballot
Total Democratic seats: 10
Total Republican seats: 7

Democratic incumbents: 8
Open Democratic seats: 2
Republican incumbents: 5
Open Republican seats: 2

Unchallenged seats
No Democrat on the ballot: 2
No Republican on the ballot: 0

Seventeen of the Wisconsin Senate's 33 seats are on the ballot in 2010 (the odd-numbered districts), with Democrats and Republicans splitting the 16 seats not up for grabs at 8 each. Republicans only need a net gain of two seats to win the chamber. The prized targets for the Republicans this cycle are the four Democratic incumbents sitting in seats the GOP lost in 2006 (SD 5, SD 21, SD 23, SD 31). Democrats won those four seats by a combined 14.6 points during the last cycle.

Partisan shift: GOP +3
Partisan control: GOP takes control

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Remains of the Data

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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


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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