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Minnesota


How Competitive Can Eva Ng Make the 2009 St. Paul Mayoral General Election?

Barack Obama won all 104 precincts in St. Paul, winning 75.6 percent of the vote and notching a 53.2-point margin of victory over McCain city-wide

Minnesota Crime Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since the Moon Landing

Uniform Crime Reports data released this week finds the Gopher State's overall crime rate falling to its lowest level since 1969

What Are the Odds of Incumbents Winning All 8 of Minnesota's U.S. House Races in 2010?

Out of the 32 elections in which each of Minnesota's U.S. Representatives have appeared on the general election ballot, incumbents swept their contests in just 19 instances, or 59 percent of the time

Are Minnesota's U.S. House Seats Safer for Incumbents Today Than in the Past?

In the current census period, 2002-2008, Minnesota's U.S. House incumbents have been reelected at a rate of 93.1 percent, or 27 of 29 contests

How Big is the Incumbency Advantage in Minnesota's U.S. House Races?

425 Minnesota U.S. House incumbents have won their general election matchups, 62 were defeated, and an additional 14 failed to win their party's nomination

Michele Bachmann: History Is On Her Side

For 2-term incumbents, like Congresswoman Bachmann, 88.2 percent have won a third consecutive term, or 75 out of 85 Representatives

In Search of Minnesota's Bellwether House District(s)

For better or for worse, during the past decade Minnesota has developed a national reputation for being a bit of an 'oddball' state - politically, that is. And, at first blush, the Gopher State is an easy target for even easier punchlines for having elected a former pro-wrestler to the...

Minnesotans Still Divided Over Pawlenty; Culver and Doyle Ratings in 30s

While residents of Iowa and Wisconsin are speaking in loud, disapproving voices over the performance of their respective Democratic governors, Minnesotans are still basically split down the middle over how they rate the performance of Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty. The latest SurveyUSA poll of 600 Minnesota residents, conducted August 26-27,...

Klobuchar's Approval Rebounds While Senators Grassley, Harkin, Kohl, and Feingold's Sink to Historic Lows

The latest round of SurveyUSA polling finds Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar rebounding back into familiar territory, while many of her Upper Midwestern colleagues see their job performance marks sink to record lows and struggle to reach even a positive net approval rating. Minnesotans give Senator Klobuchar a 58 percent...

A Profile of Minnesota's Swing and Stronghold State Senate Districts

During the past three days Smart Politics has issued reports analyzing party strength in the state's 134 House districts - including analyses on the state's 40 swing districts, the 94 DFL and GOP stronghold districts, and the barriers the Republican Party faces as it begins to rebuild and attempt to...

How Many Minnesota House 'Swing Districts' Will Return to the GOP in 2010?

This week Smart Politics has issued two reports profiling the battle for the Minnesota House in 2010, first by documenting the barriers the GOP faces to cut into the the DFL's 40-seat advantage, and then by highlighting the 94 'stronghold' districts where the DFL and GOP have remained undefeated respectively...

Obama Approval Rating Holds in Minnesota, Plummets in Iowa and Wisconsin

Although Barack Obama's approval rating has taken an (expected) hit in Minnesota since the beginning of his term, a hit all presidents endure, a new SurveyUSA poll finds Gopher State residents much more patient with the new Democratic president than many states across the nation. A poll of 600 adults,...

A Profile of Minnesota's 94 DFL and GOP 'Stronghold' House Districts

In Monday's first part in a series of reports looking ahead to the battle for the Minnesota House in 2010, Smart Politics outlined several significant hurdles the Republican Party faces to not simply make a long-shot run at taking back the lower chamber in St. Paul, but to even make...

What Are the Odds of a GOP Takeover of the Minnesota House in 2010?

While few Minnesota political pundits - or officeholders - are projecting a GOP takeover of the House of Representatives in November 2010, the Republican party leadership is very optimistic they are going to make gains into the DFL's current 40-seat advantage in the lower chamber. The DFL, meanwhile, is hoping...

Which Lawmaker (and Political Party) Leaves the Biggest Twitter Footprint in Minnesota Politics?

Last month Smart Politics conducted a case study as to how one Minnesota lawmaker, Republican Representative Laura Brod, utilized the social networking site Twitter during the last legislative session. That study found the plurality of Rep. Brod's tweets were about substantive policy issues, with approximately one-sixth about her own personal...

Minnesota Has 3rd Lowest Increase in Unemployment Nationwide Since Enactment of Federal Stimulus Bill

As it turns out, the three-tenths of a percent decrease in jobless claims announced last week by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is the backdrop to an even larger story of (relatively) good economic news for Minnesotans. While Minnesota has endured record setting increases in unemployment over...

Can the DFL Win a 6th U.S. House Seat in 2010?

As Minnesota faces the real prospect of losing its 8th U.S. House seat in the 2012 reapportionment, the DFL looks to close the current census period with a bang, by returning to its glory days of the 1990s when it controlled 6 of the Gopher State's Congressional districts. One hurdle...

Unemployment Down in Minnesota and South Dakota, Flat in Wisconsin

New unemployment data released this week for the month of July in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin provides largely good news on the labor force front in the Upper Midwest. In Minnesota, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 8.4 percent in June to 8.1 percent in July. Minnesota's jobless...

Michele Bachmann Appears on National Cable TV Every 9 Days

With her A-block interview on health care reform on Fox News' Hannity program Tuesday evening, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has now equaled in 7+ months in 2009 the number of national cable television news appearances she made in all of 2008. A Smart Politics analysis of media transcripts dating back...

How Long Before Brett Favre Gets a Job Approval Rating?

With future Hall of Famer Brett Favre signing a two-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings this week, the Gopher State's most popular sports franchise is now officially led by the former face of its most hated rival, the Green Bay Packers. Because of the animosity (although, at times, perhaps begrudging...



Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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