A recent SurveyUSA poll of likely Minnesota voters unsurprisingly found a single-digit race on the top of November's ballot (Obama up six points over Romney) and a blow-out just below (Amy Klobchuar up 24 on GOP challenger Kurt Bills). Such has often been the result over the 17 previous election cycles in the Gopher State since 1912 in which presidential and U.S. Senate contests align in the same cycle. The presidential contest has been more narrowly decided than the U.S. Senate race in 12 races (1912, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1948, 1952, 1960, 1972, 1976, 1984, 1988, 2000) and the senate race has been more competitive just five times (1924, 1936, 1964, 1996, 2008). These 17 presidential elections have been decided by an average of 10.6 points while the 17 U.S. Senate contests were decided by an average of 17.7 points.
Of the 15 men and women that have served in the U.S. Senate from Wisconsin since popular vote elections were introduced a century ago, Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin rank among the oldest upon first entering the chamber. Johnson began his tenure at the age of 55 years, 8 months, and 26 days in January 2011, which is the oldest of any elected Wisconsin Senator during this popular vote era. The next oldest, Alexander Wiley, was more than one year younger when he took his seat in 1939 (54 years, 7 months, 8 days). Tammy Baldwin comes in at #6 being 50 years, 10 months, and 23 days when she took office in January of this year. The youngest elected Senator from the Badger State was Robert La Follette, Jr. at 30 years, 7 months, and 24 days (1925) when he took the seat of his legendary deceased father.
Tim Johnson's retirement opens up an opportunity for Republicans to gain control of both U.S. Senate seats in South Dakota for the first time since the convening of the 100th Congress in January 1987 (Tom Daschle ousted incumbent GOPer James Abdnor in the 1986 election). South Dakota is currently tied with Nevada and Washington for the 22nd longest streak in the nation since Republicans held both Senate seats at 26+ years. Neighboring North Dakota has the 13th longest streak (August 1960) with three states last seeing a GOP hold on both seats in the 1800s: Louisiana (November 1872), Florida (March 1875), and Arkansas (March 1885).
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