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Minnesota


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...

Will GOP Controversy Put 16th Senate District In Play for the DFL?

Minnesota blogs have been buzzing in recent days in light of state Representative Mark Olson’s endorsement by the Republican Party for the special election in Senate District 16 held this November. The election is being held to fill Betsy Wergin’s seat, who was appointed to the Public Utilities Commission. Controversy...

Will Minnesotans Turn Out On Primary Day?

Minnesotans have earned a deserved reputation for turning out the vote on Election Day in recent years. During presidential election years, Minnesota has yielded a turnout rate of between 65 and 83 percent since 1952, including increasing totals of 65, 70, and 78 percent during the last three cycles...

Pawlenty Disapproval Numbers Increasing Amid VP Talk

Although Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty is not beloved by all in the Gopher State, he has maintained a consistent level of job approval throughout his gubernatorial tenure. In nearly 60 public opinion polls of Minnesotans conducted since early 2003, Pawlenty has dipped below the 50 percent mark in...

The Decline of a President: Tracing Bush's Approval Ratings in the Upper Midwest

Despite rising national unemployment rates, high gas prices, and overall economic uncertainty, George W. Bush remains basically no less popular among Upper Midwesterners in 2008 than he was in 2007. A Smart Politics study of nearly 180 public opinion polls conducted between 2004 and 2008 in the region finds Bush’s...

What Is the Democratic Ceiling Across Upper Midwestern State Legislatures?

The 2006 election saw Democratic takeovers of 3 of the 6 Upper Midwestern legislative chambers previously controlled by the Republicans. Democrats now control 5 chambers (the Iowa House and Senate, the Minnesota House and Senate, and the Wisconsin Senate) with the Republicans controlling 3 (the South Dakota House and Senate...

Will the GOP Make Gains in the Minnesota House?

When the DFL swept its way into control of the Minnesota House in the 2006 election, some Republican officeholders and officials partially attributed the DFL 19-seat net gain to having all the cards fall just right for the DFL – that they won all the close races. House Minority Leader...

Minnesota Home to Increasing Number of Self-Identified Democrats

A Smart Politics study of the partisan leanings of Minnesota residents finds that the percentage of self-identified Democrats has increased nearly 30 percent since 2005. While the percentage of self-identified Republicans has dropped, it seems the Democratic Party is increasing its numbers largely from converting independents to its side. Smart...

Will Obama Perform Stronger in Wisconsin Than in Minnesota? Don’t Count On It

A new poll by Quinnipiac University of more than 1,000 likely voters in both Minnesota and Wisconsin was released Thursday with a surprising headline: Barack Obama led John McCain by just 2 points in the Gopher State (46 to 44 percent) but had an 11-point advantage over the Arizona Senator...

How Blue Is Minnesota? Not 7 U.S. House Seats Blue

Tim Walz’s pick-up of the Gopher State’s 1st Congressional District in 2006 buoyed hopes for the DFL of a decisive bluish trend among voters for its U.S. House candidates in the coming years. Walz’s victory surprised many pundits, even in an election year that was expecting several Democratic pick-ups across...

Smart Politics Study: Independence Party Need Make No Apologies to the DFL

The DFL has pointed to the Independence Party gubernatorial candidacies of Peter Hutchinson (2006) and Tim Penny (2002) as part of the reason for Republican Tim Pawlenty's two plurality wins in the Gopher State. The fear, among the DFL, is that the Independence Party is not so much bringing...

MN State House: Independence Party Stops the Bleeding

The Independence Party has stopped the bleeding. After leaving a major footprint on Minnesota State House races in the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections, the number of IP candidates on the ballot greatly declined in 2006 to just nine districts. At the time of the close of Tuesday’s filing deadline,...

MN Senate: Ventura Out, Barkley In, Coleman & Franken Split in Two New Polls

As Jesse Ventura announced he would not challenge Norm Coleman in the 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate race, two new polls were released revealing vastly different results. Ventura, before Larry King’s national audience on CNN, stated he would not seek Coleman’s Senate seat, giving a variety of reasons along the...

Rasmussen Poll: Obama Up Big in MN, IA, Competitive in the Dakotas

Barack Obama is looking to become the first Democratic candidate to sweep the Upper Midwest since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. New polling by Rasmussen indicates Obama is currently competitive enough in the Dakotas to have a chance at doing just that. In South Dakota, a survey of 500 likely...

The Upper Midwestern Voting Bloc in Presidential Elections

Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have been (correctly) labeled as key battleground states in recent presidential elections. With the exception of George W. Bush’s narrow victory in the Hawkeye State in 2004, the three states have voted as a bloc dating back to 1988, when Michael Dukakis swept the region. However,...



Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


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