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Minnesota Caucuses: Paul Reaches Record High, Romney Nears Record Low

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Minnesotans deliver the Texas Congressman his best performance in a GOP primary or caucus over the last two cycles...and Romney one of his worst

ronpaul11.jpgAlthough no delegates were awarded in the Republican presidential contests Tuesday evening, several interesting developments emerged below the headlines, particularly in Minnesota.

First, by winning the Minnesota caucuses (and the Missouri primary and Colorado caucuses), Rick Santorum avoided becoming the only winner of the Iowa caucuses to fail to carry any other state.

Prior to the 2012 cycle, Democratic and Republican Iowa caucus victors won an average of 26 primaries and caucuses (excluding incumbents who did not face a primary opponent and ran the table unchallenged).

Ron Paul, meanwhile, set a personal best performance as a presidential candidate by winning 27.1 percent of the vote in the Minnesota caucuses.

Paul's previous best mark in a GOP presidential primary or caucus was the 24.5 percent he recorded in the Montana caucuses during his 2008 presidential run.

In 2008, Paul eclipsed the 20 percent mark a total of five times: in the Washington caucuses (21.6 percent), Idaho primary (23.7 percent), Montana caucuses (24.5 percent), Montana primary (21.5 percent), and the North Dakota caucuses (21.3 percent).

Through just eight contests thus far in 2012, Paul has already eclipsed 20 percent in three states: Iowa (21.4 percent), New Hampshire (22.9 percent), and Minnesota (27 percent ).

As for Romney, his numbers took a different turn in Minnesota Tuesday evening.

After turning in a victory in the Gopher State four years ago with 41 percent of the vote, the former Massachusetts governor won only 16.9 percent this time around.

This marks the third worst Romney showing out of 37 presidential primary and caucus contests in which he has competed since 2008.

The only two contests in which Romney fared more poorly as a presidential candidate came in 2008 when he recorded 13.5 percent of the vote in the Arkansas primary and 15.3 percent in the South Carolina primary.

Politics in Minnesota never disappoints.

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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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