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Minnesota


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...

Live Blog: Redistricting in Minnesota

8:50 a.m. The Center for the Study of Politics and Governance is hosting a conference this morning entitled, "Toward More Open Government: A Conference on Reforming the Redistricting Process." The headline for the event as to why this could be a pressing issue in 2011, after the 2010 census is...

Minnesota Is Not Massachusetts: How Norm Coleman (Probably) Survived the Democratic Wave

As we approach a month since Election Day, many DFLers continue to lament that if Norm Coleman should hold onto his US Senate seat after the statewide recount, it is not because Coleman won the race, but because the DFL lost it – specifically, by nominating a ‘weak’ and controversial...

Smart Politics to Live Blog Conference on MN Redistricting

On Monday morning Smart Politics will live blog a conference on redistricting reform in Minnesota at the Humphrey Institute. Toward More Open Government: A Conference on Reforming the Redistricting Process Monday, December 1, 2008 8:30am - 12:00pm Humphrey Forum Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs From the Institute's Center...

Coleman Victory Would Be the Greatest GOP Senate Triumph in Minnesota History

Earlier this month Smart Politics examined how a victory by Norm Coleman would mark the first time since 1940 that a Republican has been elected Senator from the Gopher State in a presidential election year in which a Democrat was sent to the White House. That study examined the Coleman...

MN Senate Recount: Challenges in Franken Territory On the Rise

While the number of challenged ballots has been increasing in the Minnesota U.S. recount during the past week, the rise has not been uniform across the state’s partisan geographic divide. Smart Politics studied the change in challenged ballots in counties that had completed their recounts between the end of Thursday,...

Minnesota Unemployment Trend Worst In 22 Years

The October 2008 unemployment numbers released late last week by Dan McElroy, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, reveals the Gopher State is enduring its worst jobless trend in more than two decades. October’s 6.0 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate marks the second time out of...

CSPG Report: Potential for Change in the Senate Recount

The Center for the Study of Politics and Governance released a report this week which puts into perspective what seemed like large changes in the vote count for Al Franken between the end of Election Day to just before the recount. From the CSPG report: A study of the change...

MN Senate Recount: Challenged Ballot Rate Identical in Coleman and Franken Counties

The U.S. Senate ballot recount has been completed in 36 of Minnesota’s 87 counties, according to the Secretary of State’s website as of 8:00 pm Thursday evening. A Smart Politics study of those counties in which 100% of the ballots have been recounted finds an astonishingly similar rate of challenged...

Coleman Victory Would Renew Minnesota Tradition of Split-Ticket Voting

If Norm Coleman is able to hold onto his narrow lead against Al Franken in the 2008 U.S. Senate recount that began on Wednesday, he would accomplish a feat that has not been seen in Minnesota since before World War II: no Republican since 1940 has been elected Senator from...

MN Senate Election Analysis, Part 2: Norm Coleman’s Metro Slide

On Monday, Smart Politics examined the margin of victory and loss in each county between the DFL candidates in the 2006 gubernatorial and 2008 U.S. Senate races, and found Al Franken most severely underperformed in the Northern counties of the Gopher State vis-à-vis Mike Hatch. Today, in the second part...

MN Senate Election Analysis, Part 1: Franken Underperforms in Northern Minnesota

On the surface, there are several similarities between the 2008 U.S. Senate race and the 2006 gubernatorial race in Minnesota. · Both races featured 1-term Republican incumbents facing reelection in Democratic wave election years and, pending a change of fate in the U.S. Senate recount, Republicans emerged victorious in each...

Even At 42 Percent, Coleman's Performance Historically Strong

Should Republican Norm Coleman prevail in the U.S. Senate recount against DFLer Al Franken over the coming weeks, his reelection will be noteworthy in several respects. First, at 42.0 percent, Coleman will have been elected by the lowest percentage in Minnesota in nearly 80 years and the second lowest in...

Will Pawlenty Run For A Third Term?

After flirting with national office in 2008 – as a purported finalist on John McCain’s short list of Vice-Presidential nominees – Tim Pawlenty has the luxury of governing a state in which gubernatorial elections are conducted in presidential off-year cycles. Governor Pawlenty has stated that he is not going...

How Will the National Media Cover the Franken vs. Coleman Recount?

As the headline of Barack Obama’s historic victory begins to fade and political reporters and analysts need to turn their attention elsewhere, it is likely the recount in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race will satisfy their cravings and subsequently garner even more national attention. To date, due to its understandably Obama-centric...

Green Party Sets Personal Best in Minnesota's HD 61B Contest

In Minnesota’s House District 61B election on Tuesday, Green Party candidate Farheen Hakeem received 30.3 percent of the vote – the highest mark ever reached by the Green Party in a House contest. The Green Party has run 29 candidates for the House of Representatives in special and general...

Third Party Impact on the 2008 Minnesota Legislative Vote

Third party candidates in the Gopher State made a slight comeback in 2008, and had some impact on Minnesota legislative races on Tuesday. Two races were decidedly impacted by third party candidacies. In the open DFL House District 51A, Republican Tim Sanders defeated DFL candidate Shawn Hamilton by a 47.8...

Independence Party Sets New Records in Election 2008

Although the number of candidates the Independence Party of Minnesota has been able to field in state legislative elections has fallen sharply during the past few election cycles, the Party enjoyed some personal bests in the 2008 elections. At the top of the ticket, in the U.S. Senate race, the...



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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