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Live Blog: Dean Barkley on Political Polarization

12:07 p.m. Dean Barkley, founder of the Independence Party, is giving a speech this afternoon at the Humphrey Institute entitled, "The Polarization of Our Political Parties." Barkley has polled as high as 19 percent during this past week in the U.S. Senate matchup against Republican Norm Coleman and DFL-er Al...

HHH / MPR News Poll – Obama Propelled by Financial Crisis and VP Debate

From the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance press release: “According to two Minnesota Public Radio News and Humphrey Institute polls of likely Minnesota voters, the extraordinary financial crisis and the resulting congressional response along with the Vice Presidential debate propelled the Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama from...

Bias or Accuracy in the Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll?

This weekend’s polling numbers by the Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll that found Barack Obama up by 18 points over John McCain and Al Franken up by 9 points over Norm Coleman turned many heads in the Gopher State, and received harsh critiques by the right-wing blogosphere (as well as the...

The Sarah Palin Effect On Undecided Women Voters in Minnesota

Although Senator John McCain’s initial introduction of Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate was met with criticism even from within conservative and Republican circles, Palin has boosted the enthusiasm of Republicans and is appealing to certain women voters. Smart Politics discovered nuanced reactions by women that defy narrow partisan...

Dean Barkley Hits 19 Percent in New Minnesota Senate Poll

Dean Barkey’s numbers continue to rise in the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota, according to a new SurveyUSA poll of 725 likely voters in the Gopher State (conducted September 30 – October 1). In the new survey, Republican Norm Coleman leads DFL-er Al Franken by a 43 to 33 percent...

Weekend Upper Midwestern Presidential Poll Roundup

The nearly uniform surge enjoyed by Barack Obama in the national polls over John McCain this past week has so far only translated into a bump in the polls in the Upper Midwest in the state of Wisconsin, with his narrow advantage in Minnesota and larger advantage in Iowa remaining...

Dean Barkley Trying to Make History in MN U.S. Senate Race

A new Rasmussen poll of the high profile U.S.Senate race in Minnesota was released today with some surprising resuts, as Norm Coleman (48 percent) and Al Franken (47 percent) amassed 95 percent of the support of the 500 likely voters surveyed. ‘Suprising,’ that is, as the 3 percent support Rasmussen...

Upper Midwestern Presidential Poll Roundup

A deluge of public opinion polls has surfaced during the past week gauging voter preferences in the presidential race, particularly in the Upper Midwest – home to three of the nation’s classic battleground states. In Minnesota, the three latest polls tell a similar story: John McCain has narrowed the double-digit...

MN U.S. Senate Elections Historically Uncompetitive in Presidential Election Years

A Smart Politics study of the 22 U.S. Senate races held in the Gopher State since the union of the Democratic and Farmer-Labor parties in 1944 finds Senate contests held during presidential election years to be less competitive than those held in off years. Since 1944, there have been 10...

Why Isn’t Dean Barkley Derailing Al Franken's Candidacy?

The first two polls released since Dean Barkley won the Independence Party primary last week still show a very close race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken, with Barkley receiving 13 percent (Minnesota Poll) and 14 percent (SurveyUSA) support among likely voters. While Barkley’s numbers are up about 6 points...

McCain in 2008 Well Ahead of Bush’s 2004 Pace in Minnesota

The new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll of the presidential race finds John McCain performing markedly better than George W. Bush did in the Gopher State in nearly identical surveys conducted four years apart. In the new Strib survey, conducted September 10-12 of 1,106 likely voters, McCain is tied with Barack...

What Will We Learn From the Minnesota U.S. Senate Primaries?

As several polls show a tight race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken heading into the Minnesota U.S. Senate primary, the campaigns – and the media – will be looking for clues as to which candidate is in the stronger position coming out of the primaries heading into the home...

3rd CD: DFL Experiences Historical Bump in Presidential Election Years

Upon 9-term Republican U.S. Representative Jim Ramstad’s retirement announcement in 2007, the DFL knew Ramstad’s open 3rd CD seat would be a competitive race and a potential pick-up for the party in 2008. (The DFL is running Iraqi War veteran Ashwin Madia against Republican State Representative Erik Paulsen). But the...

Trust in Government Drops By Nearly Half In Minnesota Since 2004

As Minnesotans prepare once again to be at the heart of another competitive presidential election, the Gopher States’ view of government has eroded precipitously during the last four years. According to the latest Humphrey Institute / Minnesota Public Radio survey, only 28 percent of likely voters believe our government can...

Upper Midwesterns Back McCain on Foreign Policy; Domestic Policy Mixed

A series of SurveyUSA polls across the Upper Midwest finds registered voters more confident John McCain can better handle foreign policy issues and immigration, while Barack Obama has the edge on health care. In a surprising turn, Obama ends up with a draw against McCain on economic issues. The polls,...

Why Dean Barkley Is Hurting Al Franken's U.S. Senate Chances

A new U.S. Senate poll released today by the Humphrey Institute and Minnesota Public Radio finds Norm Coleman and Al Franken virtually deadlocked in the Gopher State’s U.S. Senate race. While Franken’s statistically insignificant 41 to 40 percent lead in the poll comes as a bit of a surprise...

HHH/MPR Survey: Obama Up By 10 in Minnesota

A new poll by the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute and Minnesota Public Radio was released today indicating Barack Obama still has the advantage over John McCain in the Gopher State. The poll, conducted over an 11-day period ending August 17th of 763 likely voters, finds Obama leading McCain 48...

McCain Nearly Even With Obama in New Poll of Minnesotans

SurveyUSA’s latest poll of likely voters in the Gopher State finds John McCain reaching his second highest level of support in more than a dozen polls conducted since late March 2008. McCain’s two-point deficit, 47 to 45 percent, is just one point shy of his previous peak, when he trailed...

Number of Undecided Voters Increasing in Minnesota Senate Race

In SurveyUSA’s new mid-August poll of the Minnesota U.S. Senate race, Norm Coleman has a 7-point advantage over Al Franken, 46 to 39 percent. The poll continues a trend over the last six weeks revealing there is a substantial number of Minnesotans who are undecided or who plan to vote...

Obama Support Falls To Lowest Mark Against McCain in Rasmussen’s Minnesota Polling

As recent state polls across the country indicate a tightening of the presidential race in favor of John McCain, a new Rasmussen poll of 700 likely Minnesota voters finds support for Obama at its lowest margin to date across nine polls conducted by the survey organization since February 2008. The...



Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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