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Minnesota


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...

Iowa Endures Largest Monthly Increase in Unemployment in Quarter Century

The new numbers released late last week by Iowa Workforce Development continue to highlight the worst employment trend the Hawkeye State has faced in more than three decades. Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 5.1 in April to 5.8 percent in May - the biggest net and percentage increase...

Minnesota U.S. Senate Race Still Fodder for Late-Night Comedians

Now seven and a half months out from Election Day, the U.S. Senate contest between DFLer Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman is still providing a few yucks on late-night television. In recent weeks, Bill Maher has been a virtual Norm Coleman joke factory on his Real Time with Bill...

Is the Minnesota US House Delegation Voting More Conservatively?

With the DFL winning a string of 9 consecutive presidential elections, 4 out of 5 U.S. Senate contests (counting Al Franken), and netting 35 state House and 11 state Senate seats since 2002, Minnesota has been frequently characterized as an increasingly "Democratic-leaning" state. The outputs of the DFL's electoral success...

Pawlenty Unallotment Strategy, Decision Not to Run in 2010 Have Little Impact on Approval Ratings

Just as Tim Pawlenty's announcement that he would use an unallotment strategy to resolve the state's budget crisis had little impact on his approval ratings in late May, his decision to not seek a third term as Minnesota's Governor also seems to have had little impact on his approval ratings...

Minnesota, Wisconsin Lead Nation in Largest Proportion of House Committee Leadership Posts

U.S. Representative John Kline's (MN-02) election this week as the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor further established the Gopher State's House delegation as one of the most powerful in the nation. Minnesota now has 3 of its 8 U.S. Representatives holding chairmanships or the...

Obama Approval Rating Dips Below 60 Percent in Minnesota

It took nearly half a year, but President Barack Obama's approval rating finally fell below the 60 percent mark in the Gopher State, according to the latest round of monthly polls conducted by SurveyUSA. Obama had previously notched an approval rating between 61 and 64 percent during the first...

How Will Pawlenty's Unallotment Impact State's Higher Ed Ranking?

When Governor Tim Pawlenty proposed a collective unallotment of $100 million to the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) system on Tuesday, higher education officials breathed a short sigh of relief. After the end of session a month ago, Pawlenty speculated an additional $190 million...

Why Michele Bachmann's Political Ideology Is the Boldest Among U.S. House Republicans

Continuing to serve as a lightning rod for the political left in the Gopher State, the month of June has seen Representative Michele Bachmann maintain her remarkably high profile among not only the Minnesota Congressional delegation, but also nationally among her GOP colleagues throughout the U.S. House. Earlier this...

Minneapolis Index Crime Rate Falls 18 Percent from April 2008

The Minneapolis Police Department's official Uniform Crime Report data for April 2009 finds crime in Minnesota's largest city down 18 percent from one year ago. The 18 percent 12-month drop is the largest in the city dating back more than two years to February 2007, when crime was down 23.9...

Minnesota, Western States Lead Nation in Male Population; Vote for GOP Governors

In one of the quirkier statistical findings reported by this blog, a new Smart Politics analysis of Census Bureau data finds that all twelve states in the country in which the male population is equal to or greater than that of the female population are located west of the Mississippi...

How Do We Judge Governor Pawlenty's Political Legacy?

As Tim Pawlenty completes the remaining 18+ months of his second term, before venturing into (politically or financially) greener pastures, he has vowed to "Continue to spend every day doing what's right for them. Minnesota will get my very best until I'm done. There is much important and difficult work...

Does Marty Seifert Represent a 'Swing District?'

GOPer Marty Seifert (21A-Marshall) announced yesterday that he would be stepping down as Minority Leader of the House of Representatives on June 24th, explaining he did not think it was appropriate to represent his caucus while contemplating a new position - that of governor of the Gopher State. While stating...

From T-Paw to J-Ram: Is Jim Ramstad the GOP's Answer in 2010?

Tim Pawlenty's decision Tuesday not to seek an unprecedented third 4-year term as Governor of the Gopher State not only emboldened the candidacies of the long list of DFLers already on the campaign trail, but also raised the issue as to what type of candidate the Republican Party should run...

Minnesota and Upper Midwest Being Spared the Worst of US Job Loss Crisis

While Minnesota and the rest of the Upper Midwestern states are still in the midst of enduring some of the largest unemployment rates each has endured for many years, most of the region is historically doing quite well on the employment front when compared to the situation of the country...



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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