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Minnesota


Hutchinson (’06) Performance Strong Predictor of Barkley Countywide Support in Minnesota Senate Race

As documented by Smart Politics last week, Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley took a very different path to reach 15 percent in the 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate race than did 2002 Independence Party gubernatorial nominee, Tim Penny (who reached 16 percent in that race). Penny’s support was heavily skewed towards...

Crime and the Minnesota Economy Revisited: Brace for Property Crime Surge

At about the same time Smart Politics posited the question as to what effect, if any, the rising unemployment rate and economic downturn would have on the state’s violent crime rate, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s office issued a press release documenting how violent crime has declined in every Minneapolis precinct...

Getting to 15 Percent: Two Different Paths for Dean Barkley (’08) and Tim Penny (’02)

Independence Party nominee Dean Barkley’s U.S. Senate candidacy was of great interest to the media and political junkies leading up to the 2008 election. Could Barkley launch a Ventura-esque come-from-behind victory? Would his presence on the ballot hurt Al Franken more than Norm Coleman? Would he raise enough money to...

Will Violent Crime in Minnesota Increase Along With the Jobless Rate?

The news released on Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development that Minnesota’s unemployment rate had reached 6.4 percent, prompted Smart Politics to examine how the current jobless trend, and specifically the large rate of job loss, is unprecedented, going back decades in the state. The problems...

Minnesota Unemployment Rate Reaches Highest Level in Nearly A Quarter Century

The news gets bleaker and bleaker for workers in the Gopher State. The November 2008 seasonally adjusted jobless numbers have been released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development: unemployment rose to 6.4 percent – up from 5.9 percent in October. The number of unemployed Minnesotans increased by...

'The McCain 14': House DFLers in Republican-Leaning Districts

On Wednesday, Smart Politics highlighted GOP legislators who serve house districts won by Barack Obama – legislators who are more vulnerable to district political pressures that might lead them to consider defecting from their Republican caucus in the event of a DFL override attempt against Governor Tim Pawlenty in the...

Who Will Be the 'Override Three?'

The budget crisis outlined at the Capitol earlier this month is of such historic proportions that it will likely only serve to further strain the already tense relationship between Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and the DFL-controlled legislature. In order to balance the budget, both sides will be calling for change:...

Minnesota Leads Nation in Voter Turnout for Seventh Straight Election Cycle

Minnesota voters, buoyed perhaps both by a strong sense of civic duty, a high interest in politics, and a little thing called same-day registration, have once again led the country in voter turnout in the 2008 election. The Gopher State has now topped the country in turnout in seven straight...

As Coleman Toils, Klobuchar Sails

As Norm Coleman’s campaign continues to fight with Al Franken for every vote (and seemingly every procedural move) in the highly watched Senate race recount, his DFL colleague Amy Klobuchar remains the most popular figure in Minnesota politics. Prior to his 15+ round heavyweight fight with Franken, Senator Coleman too...

Upper Midwestern Reapportionment, Part II: A Historical Overview

In a follow-up to yesterday’s discussion of the 2012 projected reapportionment, Smart Politics presents two tables to illustrate the diminishing political influence of Minnesota and the Upper Midwestern battleground states in the U.S. House as a result of population shifts in the United States. Table 1 demonstrates how the projected...

How Much Will 2012 Reapportionment Reduce Minnesota’s Political Influence?

About a year ago Smart Politics examined the political impact of Iowa losing a seat in the U.S. House, as it is projected to do after the 2012 reapportionment. State Demographer Tom Gillaspy recently projected Minnesota is also on track to lose a seat. Should this occur, the impact on...

Live Blog: Fair Elections in Minnesota

9:40 a.m. The Center for the Study of Politics and Governance is hosting a conference on elections administration entitled, "The Minnesota Tradition of Fair Elections." 9:45 a.m. The first panel, "The Minnesota Gold Standard," includes: · Edward B. Foley, Professor, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University and Director, Election...

Smart Politics to Live Blog Minnesota Elections Conference Featuring Mondale, Ritchie, Ramstad

Smart Politics will live blog a conference on Minnesota elections administration this morning sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. The conference includes panelists such as Vice President Walter Mondale, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, and Congressman Jim Ramstad. From the CSPG website: The Minnesota Tradition...

Live Blog: Governor Pawlenty and Health Care Reform

3:00 p.m. The Center for the Study of Politics and Governance is hosting a conference on health care, entitled: "Market-Based Reforms in Health Care: The Next Step?" The first presenter is Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, with Larry Jacobs, Director of the Center, serving as moderator. 3:01 p.m. Pawlenty signed health...

Smart Politics to Live Blog Health Care Conference Featuring Governor Pawlenty

Smart Politics will live blog a health care conference this afternoon sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, which features a presentation by Governor Tim Pawlenty. From the CSPG website: “The Center for the Study of Politics and Governance welcomes Governor Pawlenty and Minnesota business and...

Tweedledum, Tweedledee: A Statistical Correlation of Ballot Challenges in the MN Senate Recount

The frivolousness of some of the ballot challenges issued by the Norm Coleman and Al Franken campaigns during the U.S. Senate race recount has been well documented – both through the media’s publication of many such ballot scans as well as critical public statements of the campaigns by Secretary of...

Pawlenty vs. the DFL: The Battle Lines Are (Gently) Drawn

In a day that saw a filled-to-the-brim press conference in the Governor's Reception Room, a mini-protest by the Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout, and some not so thinly veiled and unsolicited advice by the DFL leadership as to what the Governor should do with his economic and job development...

Today At The Capitol: Round 1 of the Budget Battle

The Gopher State’s U.S. Senate recount may take a backseat in the newsroom today due to some important state governmental business: a much-anticipated budget briefing, a press conference by Governor Tim Pawlenty, and the DFL legislative response. Essentially, today is Round 1 of (Pawlenty) budget cuts vs. potential (DFL) tax...

Bigger D.C. Power Broker: Jim Oberstar or David Obey?

The Upper Midwest is home to a disproportionate amount of power when it comes to its Representatives in the U.S. House. Three of the twenty-one House Committee chairs hail from Minnesota and Wisconsin, with two of those, DFL Congressmen Jim Oberstar (MN-08) and Democratic Congressman David Obey (WI-07) each...

Minnesota GOP US House Candidates Receive Lowest Voter Support Since 1934

If politics is a bottom line business, then the Republican Party of Minnesota can be rightfully pleased to have won three U.S. House seats last month. Several pundits, such as the Rothenberg Political Report, projected the DFL to pick up both Michele Bachmann’s seat in the 6th CD as well...



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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