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Minnesota


A Historical Snapshot of Minnesota's Legislative Special Sessions

Governor Tim Pawlenty delivered a shot across the DFL's bow Thursday afternoon, or perhaps it was the dropping of an A-bomb, when he declared there would be no special sessions to resolve the state's budget matters and that, if need be, he would use his executive power of line-item vetoes...

Should Minnesota's Corrections Budget Be Increased?

The passage of public safety legislation this week in the Senate (SF 802) and House (HF 1162) included a reduction of approximately $100 million of the base budgets across more than a dozen departments – the largest being a $34.2 million cut to the Department of Corrections. However, the bill...

Governor Pawlenty: Good for Minnesota Twins Baseball?

While Tim Pawlenty struggles to deal with soaring budget deficits and historic rates in the increase of unemployment statewide, there is at least one positive issue he can take to the electorate should he seek an unprecedented third four-year term as Governor of the Gopher State: a vote for Pawlenty...

Jesse Ventura Lobbies for Ambassador Post to Cuba

Former Governor Jesse Ventura appeared on Larry King Live Monday evening to promote the paperback release of his latest book, Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me, and offered his trademark rapid-fire quips on a range of subjects, from Barack Obama’s first 100 days, to the drug war, to torture, to...

Pawlenty Delivers on Veto Pledge; Override Season Opens

Governor Tim Pawlenty's veto this weekend of a legislative bill (HF 885, SF 681) that would raise approximately $1 billion in revenue through income and alcohol taxes and a surtax on credit card companies, marked the official opening of Override Season this spring. The bill was actually the fourth veto...

Will Minnesotans Support the Firearms Freedom Act?

Minnesota Republican State Representative Tom Emmer (19B-Delano) introduced legislation in the House on Thursday that seeks to restrict the reach of federal firearms laws by exempting Minnesota-made firearms and ammunition that remain in the state from federal laws and regulations, including registration. In a statement released by the House GOP...

Bachmann on the State of the GOP: "Republicans are for all practical purposes irrelevant"

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is seemingly a fixture in the state and national media these days, and in particular on WWTC 1280 AM's Northern Alliance Radio Network. The Minnesota U.S. Representative appeared once again on Brian Ward and John Hinderaker's "The Headliners" program last Saturday morning to discuss excessive government spending,...

The Secret to Klobuchar's Popularity: Enduring Republican Support

The latest round of SurveyUSA monthly polling data again shows Minnesota DFL U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar holding on to her statewide support more than any of the 25 Senators tracked by the polling organization. With a 62 percent approval rating, Klobuchar is the only Senator in the group with a...

Pawlenty Disapproval Rating Rises For 5th Straight Month in SurveyUSA Polling

A few days ago, Smart Politics went into great detail to explain why the latest Star Tribune poll results did not provide persuasive evidence that Governor Tim Pawlenty was flirting with danger in terms of his statewide approval rating. That poll found Pawlenty with a +12 net approval rating -...

Why Governor Pawlenty Is Not in the 'Danger Zone'

The headline from the latest Star Tribune Minnesota Poll results released on Thursday morning reads: "Pawlenty's popularity loses some luster, edging toward 'danger zone'" The new poll measured Pawlenty's approval rating at 48 percent in the Gopher State, which the Star Tribune writes, "is lower than it has ever been."...

Obama Approval Rating Holding Steady in Minnesota and Blue States, Still Dropping in Red States

Barack Obama's latest approval rating in Minnesota remains in the low 60s - holding essentially, and impressively, flat for the third consecutive month, according to the latest round of polling by SurveyUSA. For the month of April, in a survey of 600 adults statewide, 63 percent of Minnesotans approve of...

'Darfur 5' in Little Jeopardy of Losing Congressional Seats

The arrest of Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison and four other members of Congress Monday morning for crossing a police line at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. brought front-page attention to the humanitarian crisis and atrocities occurring in the Darfur region of Sudan, but is not likely to bring any...

Minnesota's 'McCain 14' Split on House Tax Increase

Although House DFLers were able to push through a tax bill on Saturday to raise approximately $1.5 billion in revenue for the State of Minnesota, 20 percent of its caucus peeled off to join the Republicans in voting against the legislation. The DFL was able to pass the tax hike...

Keith Ellison Campaign Funding Data Revisited: A Response to the Congressman's Complaint

Last Friday, Congressman Keith Ellison's communications director Rick Jauert responded to recent data unearthed and analzyed by Smart Politics that Ellison was receiving an unusual amount of itemized individual contributions from out-of-state, both in Q1 2009 (when he had the highest percentage of such contributions among Minnesota's delegation), and ever...

Iowa Least Affected by Unemployment Increases in the Upper Midwest

Although the unemployment numbers released during the past week by Iowa Workforce Development find the Hawkeye State with its highest seasonally adjusted jobless rate since December 1987, Iowans are not losing their jobs at the rate endured by other Upper Midwestern states. At 5.2 percent, Iowa's current unemployment rate is...

Who Does Keith Ellison Represent? (And Why Aren't Minnesotans Funding His Campaigns?)

The FEC's Q1 2009 campaign finance data reveals several interesting facts about how Minnesota's U.S. Representatives fund their campaigns. Earlier in the week, Smart Politics documented that GOP Representative Michele Bachmann received the largest percentage of contributions from individuals and small donors among the state's U.S. House delegation, and...

Pawlenty's Political Future: When Will We Know?

Although taxes and vetoes are the talk of the town today, reporters at the State Capitol would still like to know the answer to the question: "When is Governor Tim Pawlenty going to announce his future political plans?" Most analysts and pundits, homegrown and in D.C., have come to the...

Why the Bachmann 'Revolution' Is a Grassroots Phenomenon

Heads turned last week upon the release of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's impressive Q1 2009 fundraising data - outpacing all her Gopher State colleagues by nearly $100,000. Eyes rolled on some liberal blogs yesterday after Smart Politics characterized Representative Bachmann's fundraising efforts as a sign of her success at tapping into...

Bachmann's Media Blitz Increasing Statewide, Not National, Fundraising

When the Federal Election Commission (FEC) released its Q1 2009 campaign fundraising data at the end of last week, the Minnesota media largely focused on how Michele Bachmann lead the Minnesota U.S. House delegation in contributions received. But reports on Representative Bachmann's fundraising success, and growing national profile, missed the...

Wisconsin Unemployment Rate Eclipses Minnesota for First Time Since Summer 2007

For those wondering why Wisconsin’s evaluation of the job performance of President Barack Obama, its Governor, Jim Doyle, and its U.S. Senators, Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, has been quite critical in recent months, one may only need to stop and consider the record-setting trend in unemployment the Badger State...



Political Crumbs

The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


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