Exit polls found Mitt Romney winning over several key demographic groups in his defeat of Rick Santorum in the Wisconsin primary Tuesday, and they can perhaps best be summed up as follows: he dominated in the state's biggest Republican strongholds. John McCain carried 13 of Wisconsin's 72 counties in the 2008 general election, and Romney beat Santorum there by 19 points - 52.8 percent to 33.8 percent. (The 13 counties comprised 29 percent of the vote). In the other 59 counties won by Barack Obama, Santorum nearly drew even with Romney, losing by only 2.4 points - 40.6 to 38.2 percent. There may also have been greater Democratic mischief in these Obama counties as well as a tendency to vote for the underdogs: votes for Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and other candidates tallied 21.3 percent in Obama counties compared to just 13.4 percent in McCain counties.
Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).
Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.
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