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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...

Is Conservatism on the Rise in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest?

While the last two election cycles have seen Upper Midwestern Republicans lose seats in state legislatures, lose seats to the U.S. House, and lose statewide elections for the U.S. Senate and the presidency, the conservative brand seems to be catching fire once again. A Smart Politics analysis of more than...

Pro-Life Stance on the Rise in Minnesota, Upper Midwest

A Gallup Poll released last Friday made headlines for its finding that a majority of Americans now identify themselves as “pro-life” as opposed to “pro-choice” on the issue of abortion, marking the first time that “pro-life” has been in the majority over the course of the last 15 years...

Minnesota Unemployment Rate Drops for First Time Since May '08

On the heels of the positive developments in South Dakota, which also saw its unemployment rate drop in April, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced on Thursday morning that the Gopher State’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell by 0.1 percentage points to 8.1 percent. The slight employment...

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...



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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