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Minnesota


The 'W' Word: Seifert Says DFL Ran the Legislature Like Democrats in Washington

In his final media availability at the Capitol for 2009, House GOP Minority Leader Marty Seifert cast a very critical look in his (Tuesday) morning quarterbacking of the 86th Legislative session for 2009. Calling it "a session of lost opportunity," Seifert continuously employed downbeat prose in his review of the...

Minnesota Legislature on Pace for Most Days in Session by Decade

One of the reasons cited by Governor Tim Pawlenty in his recent declaration that there will be no special session this year to resolve the state's budget crisis, is that he does not believe residents of the Gopher State should endure the additional costs associated with calling the legislature into...

Republicans in Competitive Districts Opposed Pogemiller Redistricting Bill; Safe GOPers Supported Reform

When DFL Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller saw his redistricting reform bill (SF 182) pass on a 39-28 roll call vote last Friday, he nearly needed one of the five votes cast by Republicans in favor of the bill. While a nearly equal amount of DFLers voted against the bill...

Pogemiller Delivers on Redistricting Reform; SF 182 Passes Senate Floor Vote

While the thunder of Governor Tim Pawlenty's new unallotment strategy drew all the attention of Capitol watchers on Thursday and Friday, the Senate, under the leadership of DFL Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller (SD59-Minneapolis), passed a redistricting bill that will perhaps have an even greater consequence on Minnesota politics than any...

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...



Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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