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Minnesota


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...

House DFLers Head Into 2010 With Favorable Electoral Map

Despite failing to net five seats and reach a 90-seat supermajority in the House of Representatives, the DFL is actually now in a much stronger position heading into 2010 than they were heading into Tuesday’s election. Perhaps more important than netting two additional seats, the DFL deepened their support in...

Wisconsin Votes Democratic By Larger Margin Than Minnesota for First Time in 72 Years

Barack Obama’s sweep through most of the Midwest on Tuesday night was perhaps most notable for his victory in Indiana. But there were other historical oddities with Obama’s victory that occurred in the region, one of which was that, for the first time since 1936, a Democratic presidential nominee had...

DFL Fails to Win Supermajority in Minnesota House

As projected at Smart Politics , the Republican Party successfully prevented the DFL from reaching a supermajority of 90 seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Smart Politics projected a net gain of 3 seats for a total of 88 for the DFL; unofficial returns from the Secretary of State’s...



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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