Republicans are heavily favored to win gubernatorial races in Oklahoma, Alabama, and Tennessee this cycle and, should incumbents Mary Fallin, Robert Bentley, and Bill Haslam cruise to victory, they will tie or extend GOP records for their respective states. Oklahoma Republicans are seeking to win gubernatorial elections in two straight cycles for the third time in history (1962 & 1966, 1994 & 1998). Tennessee Republicans are aiming to record two in a row for the fifth time ever (1865 & 1867, 1910 & 1912, 1978 & 1982, 1994 & 1998). Meanwhile, the Alabama GOP is currently in the midst of a record three consecutive wins (2002, 2006, 2010) and would extend that mark to four. Incumbents Nikki Haley in South Carolina and Nathan Deal in Georgia are expected to face more competitive races, but, if they prevail, they will extend their party's winning streaks to four cycles in each state. That would tie the all-time Republican mark in South Carolina (1868, 1870, 1872, 1874) and extend it in Georgia.
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.
For each of the last 24 presidential elections since 1920, North and South Dakota have voted in unison - casting their ballots for the same nominee. For 21 of these cycles (including each of the last 12 since 1968) Republicans carried the Dakotas with just three cycles going to the Democrats (1932, 1936, and 1964). This streak stands in contrast to the first few decades after statehood when North and South Dakota supported different nominees in four of the first seven cycles. North Dakota narrowly backed Populist James Weaver in 1892 while South Dakota voted for incumbent Republican Benjamin Harrison. In 1896, it was North Dakota backing GOPer William McKinley while South Dakota supported Democrat William Jennings Bryan by less than 200 votes. North Dakota voted Democratic in 1912 and 1916 supporting Woodrow Wilson while South Dakota cast its Electoral College votes for Progressive Teddy Roosevelt and Republican Charles Hughes respectively.
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