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Minnesota


26 Days and Counting: Why Norm Coleman Isn't Talking 2010

When former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman ended his 2008 election battle last month, he surprised many journalists by answering the inevitable question about whether he would run for governor with a more detailed answer than expected. Coleman first stated on June 30th that he would leave decisions as to his...

The Honeymoon Is Over: Obama Approval Rating Drops to 51 Percent in Minnesota

After six consecutive months of notching approval ratings between 59 and 65 percent in the Gopher State, President Barack Obama's job performance numbers haven taken a nose-dive in July, in not only Minnesota, but other key battleground states as measured by the polling firm SurveyUSA. SurveyUSA's latest monthly poll was...

Bachmann Outraises McCollum in 4th CD; Nearly Outraises Ellison in 5th CD

A Smart Politics analysis of FEC data for the 2nd Quarter of 2009 finds 6th District Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann raised more individual itemized contributions in the home districts of two of her fellow DFL colleagues, and nearly as much money in the home districts of two other DFLers. Representative...

Ellison Raises 90+ Percent of Q2 2009 Large Donor Individual Contributions from Outside 5th CD

In April 2009, Smart Politics reported on Keith Ellison's unusual campaign fundraising numbers that found the 2-term DFL Congressman raising the vast majority of his large donor individual contributions from out of state. That reporting period was not an aberration. The new Federal Election Commission (FEC) data for the second...

Oberstar Raises 100 Percent of Q2 2009 Itemized Individual Contributions from Out of State

Of the many benefits that come with being a Committee Chairman and one of the longest serving members in the U.S. House, is a certain national renown that enables a U.S. Representative to more easily raise campaign funds from out of state. Eighteen-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (MN-08) has perfected...

Bachmann Leads Minnesota House Delegation in Campaign Contributions by Individuals and Small Donors

Last Spring, Smart Politics explained how while the headline coming from the Federal Elections Commission Q1 2009 reports on the fundraising by Minnesota's U.S. House delegation was that Republican Michele Bachmann outraised all of her Gopher State colleagues by nearly $100,000, the story beneath the headline was that Bachmann was...

SoS Ritchie and Rep. Emmer Share Thoughts on Minnesota Election Reform

Last Friday four of Minnesota's prominent leaders on election reform convened at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs to discuss what work needs to be done for the Gopher State to improve on its nationally renowned election system. Moderated by Lawrence Jacobs, Director of the Institute's Center for the Study...

How Do Politicians Use Twitter? A Case Study of Rep. Laura Brod

Minnesota politicians (and the news media) increasingly used Twitter to communicate to their respective audiences during the 2009 legislative session in St. Paul. Some news outlets, such as Politics in Minnesota, tweeted thousands of policy updates and commentaries on the burgeoning social network, while politicians used it, at times, as...

What Goes Up, Goes Down Slowly: A Long Road to Recovering Job Losses in Minnesota

With new unemployment numbers set to be released on Thursday, Minnesotans are bracing for news as to whether the state will continue to follow the leveling-off pattern of job losses from the last 3 months, or whether unemployment will rise closer in line to the nation overall (currently at 9.5...

What Will Be the 'Obama Effect' on the 2010 Minnesota Gubernatorial Race?

The recent news of Barack Obama's sliding approval ratings across key battleground states (e.g. Ohio, Virginia) as well as the nation (e.g. Gallup, Rasmussen) has raised the question as to what effect a potentially less popular (if not unpopular) President Obama will have on key statewide and Congressional contests during...

Bachmann Voting Record Is 2nd Least Supportive of Obama in U.S. House

Last month a Smart Politics analysis of the most conservative members of the U.S. House (as determined by National Journal's annual rankings) found Representative Michele Bachmann to have received the smallest margin of victory of the 44 most conservative Republicans who won reelection in 2008. That blog explained how none...

Sen. Rest and Rep. Emmer to Speak on U.S. Senate Recount and MN Election Reform

Two leaders from the State Capitol will be speaking at a forum hosted by the Humphrey Institute on Friday morning to pinpoint reforms that could be made in the Minnesota election system to avoid recount pitfalls in the future. DFL Senator Ann Rest (Chair of the Senate State and Local...

Minnesota's 'Youthful' U.S. House Delegation

A recent article at CQ Politics profiled the potential competitiveness of Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District race in 2010. That district's Representative, freshman GOPer Erik Paulsen, is one of several dozen new faces elected to D.C. during the past two election cycles. Overall, 114 Representatives, or more than 25 percent of...

Minnesota Delegation Has 2nd Lowest Collective Seniority Ranking in U.S. Senate

The soon-to-be seated DFL U.S. Senator Al Franken will now be able to assist Senior Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar with the state's constituency caseload, but will not enhance the state's collective seniority ranking in Capitol Hill's upper chamber. Minnesota has the 2nd lowest level of seniority among the 50 states,...

It's the Snowball Fights: Minnesota Has Lowest Rate of Overweight Children in America

While Minnesota recently lost its #1 ranking to Wisconsin for the state with the best quality of health care nationwide, a new study released Tuesday by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reveals the Gopher State to have the lowest percentage of overweight and obese...

Putting a Bow on the 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate Contest (A Historical Analysis)

With Governor Tim Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie signing the election certificate for the U.S. Senate seat on Tuesday evening, the 2008 Election is, after a 238-day wait, at last in the books. The 2008 U.S. Senate Election is noteworthy, of course, for its historic narrow margin of...

Norm Coleman Ends 2008 Election Legal Fight

Speaking outside his house in St. Paul on Tuesday afternoon, former Republican Senator Norm Coleman congratulated DFLer Al Franken as the new Senator from the Gopher State. Earlier this afternoon the Minnesota Supreme Court decided Franken was "entitled" to a certificate as the winner of the November election. Coleman also...

Wisconsin Overtakes Minnesota as #1 State in Health Care Quality Rankings

The newly released 2008 state rankings by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) finds the State of Wisconsin has passed Minnesota for overall health care quality in the United States. Minnesota, ranked #2 in 2008, was the top state in...

Why Doesn't Amy Klobuchar Run for Governor?

Despite overwhelming success in federal and state elections during the past few decades, the DFL may have missed its best chances (in 1998, 2006) to win a gubernatorial election in the Gopher State. Excluding gubernatorial contests, the DFL has won 72 percent of statewide elections (21 of 29) since the...

Is New GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers Politically Vulnerable?

The Minnesota House Republican's selection of Kurt Zellers (32B-Maple Grove) as their new Minority Leader may not be unusual in terms of the 4-term legislator's political ideology (conservative) or policy positions (pro tax cuts and fiscal responsibility), but it is unusual within the context of his electoral track record and...



Political Crumbs

Mary Burke: English First?

While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


Does My Key Still Work?

Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


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