Although he has been (famously) ignored by much of the media during the 2012 election cycle (vis-à-vis his relative standing in the GOP field), Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul is polling at approximately 10 percent in the race for the GOP nomination. That represents a monumental uptick from his standing in the Republican field four years prior in mid-August 2007. At that time, Paul was averaging only about 1 percent among likely voters in a similarly crowded field, with Rasmussen and CNN surveying Paul at 0 percent, Quinnipiac at 2 percent, and Gallup at 3 percent. In polls with end dates over the last two weeks this cycle, Paul has come in at 6 percent according to a FOX News poll, 9 percent at Rasmussen, 12 percent at CNN, and 14 percent at USA Today/Gallup. It remains to be seen whether Representative Paul will see an accompanying boost in campaign fundraising in 2012 compared to the 2008 cycle, during which he raised an impressive $34.5 million.
Although Republicans have won 23 of 39 Indiana gubernatorial races since the first time a GOP candidate was on the ballot in 1860, Democrats have suffered few blow-out defeats during this span. In fact, the Democratic nominee has eclipsed the 40 percent mark in all 39 contests. The Republicans cannot quite claim the same, falling below 40 percent just once with nominee Linley Pearson during the gubernatorial election of 1992 when Evan Byah won his second term. Democrats have a streak of 47 consecutive contests reaching the 40 percent mark - doing so every cycle since the party first fielded a candidate in the race for governor of 1834.
Big-name Republicans are not coming out of the woodwork yet to challenge Al Franken in Minnesota's 2014 U.S. Senate race, and there is not much chatter of the GOP picking off one of the five DFL-held U.S. House seats either. Over the last century, Minnesota Republican U.S. House candidates have not fared all that well in cycles ending in '4' - losing seats in five of these cycles (1914, 1924, 1944, 1954, 1974), holding serve in four others (1964, 1984, 1994, 2004), and gaining seats just one time (1934, after redistricting had been delayed one cycle with all nine seats voted at-large in 1932). Perhaps the Republican Party's best chance for a pick up in the Gopher State in 2014 is if 12-term Democrat Collin Peterson retires after nearly a quarter century on Capitol Hill. The 7th CD has the second largest GOP lean in the state.
Budget and taxes
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Race and ethnicity