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Scott Walker's Victory by the Numbers

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Gubernatorial candidates seeking a rematch have now lost 5 of 7 contests in Wisconsin history

scottwalker10.JPGRepublican Governor Scott Walker's win over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in the Wisconsin recall election Tuesday continues several trends in Badger State gubernatorial elections.

The contest marked the seventh major party gubernatorial rematch in Wisconsin history with the winner of the first contest successfully fending off the challenger five times against just two losses.

Walker defeated Barrett by a 53.2 to 46.3 percent margin.

The last time a candidate sought such a rematch and won was in 1942 when Progressive Orland Loomis defeated one-term Republican incumbent Julius Heil after loing to the GOPer two years prior. (Loomis never took office, dying shortly after Election Day).

With Walker's victory, incumbent governors have now been reelected at a rate of 74.5 percent in Wisconsin - winning 35 contests and losing just 12 times over the last 160+ years since statehood.

The 6.9-point decision Tuesday means Wisconsin now joins Rhode Island (five), Minnesota (four), and Iowa (four) as the only states with at least four consecutive gubernatorial races decided by single digits.

Wisconsin's inaugural Barrett vs. Walker matchup in 2010 was decided by 5.8 points after Democrat Jim Doyle won his two terms by 3.7 points in 2002 and 7.4 points in 2006.

Walker won 60 counties en route to his victory on Tuesday - up one from 59 in his 2010 win.

The third candidate on the ballot, independent Hari Trivedi, was a non-factor in the race - failing to eclipse one percent of the vote.

Only two independent candidates for governor in Badger State history have ever won more than 1 percent - and both were former major party officeholders.

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Remains of the Data

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Political Crumbs

Evolving?

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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