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Minnesota


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,...

Bush Approval Rating Hits All-Time Low in Minnesota

Buried beneath the new horserace numbers coming from the Quinnipiac poll released today of 1,572 likely Minnesota voters is even more sobering news for President George W. Bush (and, perhaps, John McCain) as he finishes his second term: Bush’s approval rating has dipped to an all-time record low of 24...

Quinnipiac: Obama Breaks Out to Double Digit Leads in MN, WI

Polls released this morning by Quinnipiac University of more than 1,500 likely voters in both Minnesota and Wisconsin show Barack Obama staked to his largest lead to date over John McCain in each battleground state. In Minnesota, the poll (which, due to its large sample size has a margin of...

Why Is Obama Talking About Religion?

Barack Obama's recent comments on religion's problematic role when mixed with government—along with his citation of certain Biblical passages as evidence of this point—have now once again raised the specter of his own religious beliefs. Obama's comments not only renewed his political feud with Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus...

Obama in Iowa and Minnesota: Standing Where Kerry Stood in 2004

Barack Obama has enjoyed not only a lead over John McCain in all but one of more than 25 national polls conducted since early May 2008, but also a consistent advantage in early polling in two key Upper Midwestern battleground states: Iowa and Minnesota. However, Obama's lead in these states—which...

New SurveyUSA Poll: Obama and McCain in Dead Heat in Minnesota

A new SurveyUSA poll of 543 likely voters in Minnesota finds the race for president much closer than the findings from recent polls conducted in the state. In the SurveyUSA poll, John McCain is in a statistical tie with Barack Obama, trailing 47 to 46 percent, with 7 percent undecided....

Historical Snapshot: U.S. House Races in Minnesota

After picking up one seat in the 2006 election, the DFL eyes another in 2008. The retirement of Republican Jim Ramstad, after 18 years of service, opens up a competitive 6th Congressional District. The DFL has enjoyed success in U.S. House races in recent years, particularly since 1976 when Minnesota...

Coleman Retains Small Lead Over Franken; Ventura Candidacy Looms

Norm Coleman continues to lead Al Franken in his defense of his U.S. Senate seat, by 48 to 45 percent, according to a poll of 500 likely voters by Rasmussen. The poll, conducted on Wednesday, June 11th, finds no bounce for Franken coming out of last weekend's DFL convention, in...

MN 2002 U.S. Senate Election Revisited: Norm Coleman and the St. Paul Vote

In an interview on public radio this week, Al Franken mentioned that Norm Coleman lost all of his hometown St. Paul precincts in the 2002 election for U.S. Senate. Coleman was currently serving his last months as the mayor of St. Paul and had been elected as a Republican for...

Al Franken Wins DFL Endorsement for U.S. Senate

Actor, writer, and satirist Al Franken won the DFL endorsement for U.S. Senate at the party's convention this weekend in Rochester. Franken defeated college professor Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer on the first ballot. The endorsement comes as little surprise, although Franken had been put on the defensive in recent days—particularly by women's...

Smart Politics Interviews Minnesota Monitor

Last December, Smart Politics interviewed Michael Brodkorb, author of the high profile conservative blog Minnesota Democrats Exposed. We now turn the spotlight on a journalistic voice of the political left, Minnesota Monitor. Minnesota Monitor is a popular online newsmagazine that covers not only state and national politics and elections, but...

Would Pawlenty Deliver Minnesota to McCain As VP Nominee?

Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty has been one of just a handful of names floated by the media and Republican strategists over the past year as a potential Vice Presidential running mate to John McCain. The national attention on Pawlenty is significant and unusual. Pawlenty's credentials for being added...

Norm Coleman Retains 10-Point Advantage in Latest SurveyUSA Poll

One-term Republican incumbent Senator Norm Coleman continues to keep lead DFL challenger Al Franken at bay, according to the latest poll of 615 registered (not likely) voters by SurveyUSA. The poll, conducted April 30—May 1, gives Coleman a 52 to 42 percent advantage, well outside the survey's margin of error....

Coleman Up 7 Points on Franken in New Poll

Republican incumbent Senator Norm Coleman continues to lead likely DFL challenger Al Franken in the latest survey of 500 likely voters by Rasmussen. The survey, conducted April 22nd, gives Coleman a 50 to 43 percent lead, up from 48 to 46 percent a month ago. Though Coleman's lead is very...

Governors Doyle, Culver Getting Low Marks While Pawlenty Prevails

As economic concerns continue to fuel pessimism about the near future, Democratic Governors Jim Doyle (Wisconsin) and Chet Culver (Iowa) face the lowest ratings of their gubernatorial careers. Meanwhile, Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty has managed quite successfully to remain fairly popular with his statewide constituency. Culver, who comes from...

Economic Conerns Continue to Dominate Upper Midwest

In monthly surveys tracking what is the most important issue facing the next president, the economy has emerged as the dominant issue across the Upper Midwest. SurveyUSA asked 600 likely voters in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin closed-ended questions with eight choices as to what was the most important concern facing...

The Ventura Legacy: Solidified and Stronger Third Parties

From the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance press release: Jesse Ventura ran in the 1998 governor's election as a rebel intent on breaking the hold of the two party system on government. Yet, critics charged that Governor Ventura failed to convert his personal following into a lasting...



Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


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).


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