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Minnesota


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...

Minnesota Unemployment Rate Slows to Smallest Increase Since September

Although Minnesota’s new March unemployment numbers, released this morning by the state's Department of Employment and Economic Development, are the highest since May 1983, the 8.2 percent seasonally adjusted rate marks the slowest rate of decline in jobs in the Gopher State in half a year. Jobless claims rose from...

Political Luminaries Rally in Support of Ranked Choice Voting at FairVote Minnesota Fundraiser

More than two hundred Minnesotans - from party leaders, to legislators, to mayors, to city council members, to interested citizens - rallied in support of ranked choice voting at a fundraising event held for FairVote Minnesota in Minneapolis Tuesday evening. Ranked choice voting (aka instant runoff voting, or IRV) passed...

Minnesota 2nd Most Competitive State for U.S. Senate Elections Since 1990

With the three-judge panel ruling on Monday that Al Franken received more legally cast votes than Norm Coleman, the Minnesota 2008 U.S. Senate race moved one step closer to a final resolution. Coleman has stated he will file an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court during the next 10 days,...

The Picture of Mental Health: Minnesota's Unusually Low Suicide Rate

Although Minnesotans may not enjoy the harsh cold weather and long winters the state endures year after year, there is little evidence to suggest Gopher State residents are suffering the degree of severe depression or mental illnesses experienced by many other states across the country – illnesses that sometimes contribute...

Minneapolis Crime Rates Continue to Fall as Unemployment Rises

As unemployment rises month-by-month in Minneapolis, along with the rest of the Gopher State, serious violent and property crimes continue to fall in Minnesota's most populated city at an impressive rate. Minneapolis' non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate hit 7.1 percent in February - its highest rate in decades. However, even though...

Upper Midwestern States Bearing the Brunt of Rising Unemployment

Although the majority of Upper Midwestern states are currently experiencing some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, the rate of increase, particularly during the last four months, has hit this region of the country particularly hard. Overall, three of the five states with the lowest unemployment rates in...

Amy Klobuchar: Steady as She Goes

The latest U.S. Senate approval numbers released by SurveyUSA for the month of March find Minnesota DFLer Amy Klobuchar with the 4th highest rating of the 27 Senators tracked by the polling organization. But that's not the headline. What is noteworthy about these March numbers is how they continue...

Is Minnesota the Most Democratic-Friendly State in the Midwest?

Smart Politics recently examined Governor Tim Pawlenty's approval rating and highlighted its remarkable strength and stability in the face of the current economic crisis. But Pawlenty's popularity is also noteworthy when viewed in the greater partisan environment of the Gopher State. A Smart Politics analysis of state and federal officeholders...

Marty Seifert: His Own Kind of Republican

In a colorful speech delivered at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs on Wednesday afternoon, Minnesota House Minority Leader Marty Seifert (HD 21A-Marshall) discussed some of the differences between a 'Marty Seifert Republican' and a 'Washington, D.C. Republican' as well as drew some policy distinctions between himself and Governor Tim...

Redistricting Update: SF 182 Heads to Rules Committee

On Thursday morning the Minnesota Senate Finance Committee approved SF 182 on a voice vote, with one Senator dissenting. The legislation, authored by Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller (SD 59-Minneapolis) and Ann Rest (SD 45-New Hope), would establish new legislative and congressional districting principles as well as create a new redistricting...

Pawlenty Approval Rating Defies National Trend; Eclipses 50 Percent Mark Once Again

The 45th SurveyUSA poll measuring Minnesotans' approval of Tim Pawlenty's job performance finds the Republican Governor back once again in familiar, positive territory. Last month, for only the 6th time in 45 SurveyUSA polls, Pawlenty fell below the 50 percent mark at 48 percent. But in the latest poll, conducted...

Pawlenty Faces 4th Largest Democratic-Dominated Legislature Among GOP Governors Nationwide

With the release of the DFL's budget earlier this month, the war of words (and policies) in the budget battle between the DFL leadership and Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty has seemingly intensified. During her media availability last Friday, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher described her recent meeting with the...

December 2013? July 2016? Estimating When Unemployment Will Return to Pre-Recession Levels in Minnesota

Governor Tim Pawlenty and State Economist Tom Stinson have frequently declared that Minnesota is in its worst recession since World War II. If that is the case, how long will it take to return to the halcyon days of a thriving Minnesota economy, with unemployment returning to its pre-recession levels...

Erik Paulsen's (Semi) Close Shave Could Get Closer in 2010

Congressional Quarterly recently identified Congressional districts that split their ticket in the 2008 U.S. House and presidential contests. Almost one-fifth of the current Republicans in Congress were elected without the help of John McCain. In total, 34 of the 178 GOPers elected in 2008 (19.1 percent) carried districts that McCain...

Obama Sustains Early Support in Minnesota; Falters in Wisconsin and Iowa

SurveyUSA’s latest round of approval ratings for President Barack Obama have been released for a dozen states across the country, in polling conducted March 20-22 of 600 adults in each state. Although the President has had a consistently higher job performance rating during the first three months of his tenure...

79 Days: Minnesota Sets State Record for Longest Period With Only One U.S. Senator

At 12:00 am Monday morning, the State of Minnesota set a new record for operating at half-strength in Capitol Hill's upper chamber. At 79 days and counting, Minnesota's current stint with only one U.S. Senator has now eclipsed the previous mark set in the summer of 1923, when it...



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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