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Minnesota


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...

Will Minnesota and Wisconsin Elect Governors from the Same Political Party in 2010?

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle's official announcement on Monday that he would not be seeking a third term created not only a newfound battle for the Democratic nomination, but also a scenario whereby the Badger and Gopher States will both have open gubernatorial races on the Election Day ballot for...

Al Franken Receives First Grade As U.S. Senator: Minnesotans Split Down the Middle

As DFL Senator Al Franken inched into office by the narrowest of margins, both he and 2008 Republican opponent Norm Coleman endured negative net favorability ratings as their expensive, and frequently brutal campaigns gained neither candidate favor with a majority of Minnesotans. A few weeks out from Election Day saw...

Can the DFL End Its Gubernatorial Drought?

With House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher's announcement that she is now officially in the 2010 gubernatorial race, the DFL adds yet another hopeful face to end a near quarter-century drought since the party last won the prized statewide office in 1986. However, as elusive as the governor's mansion has been...

Minnesota Leads Midwest in Birth-to-Death Ratio; Will Its 8th U.S. House Seat Be Saved?

With the U.S. Census and reapportionment just around the corner, reports have come out during the past year, including data from Minnesota's own state demographer, that indicate the Gopher State is in real danger of losing a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. While that may still...

Et Tu Minnesota? Klobuchar Disapproval Rating Soars to Record High After Franken Is Seated

As unemployment continued to rise and economic and budget concerns reached near crisis levels across most states, several U.S. Senators, both Democrats and Republicans, saw their approval ratings slip noticeably during the first several months of 2009. One of the few Senators left seemingly unscathed by this backlash of public...

Oberstar Rails Against Obama on Transportation Policy

Interspersed between his erudite historical recounting of transportation policy over the last 50 years, colorful inside-the-beltway jokes and jabs, and a vision for transportation policy for the next generation, Minnesota DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar offered some particularly harsh language for his party's leader, President Barack Obama, Wednesday afternoon at the...

Minnesota GOP U.S. House Members Notch $800,000 Fundraising Swing Against DFL Colleagues from 2007 to 2009

Riding the momentum of a Democratic tsunami in 2006, Minnesota's crop of five DFL U.S. Representatives posted a monumental fundaising effort through the first two quarters of 2007 - outraising the state's three GOP Representatives by over $750,000. Now, two full quarters after the Democratic tsunami in 2008, the Republicans...

Congressman Oberstar to Speak at Humphrey Institute Wednesday

Minnesota's senior member of its U.S. House delegation, 18-term Representative Jim Oberstar will speak on transportation policy at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs on Wednesday morning. The event is cosponsored by Institute's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, the State and Local Policy...



Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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