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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...

Bush Approval Rating in Upper Midwest Lingers in the Basement

Despite relatively positive news coming out of Iraq and a new campaign season that has focused the lens of the news media off the sitting president to the new contenders, George W. Bush cannot shake the horrendous job approval rating that he has faced in the Upper Midwest for...

Minnesotans' Outlook on U.S. Economy Quite Bleak

With the 2008 general election just about seven months away, Minnesotans are very wary about the state of the nation's economy, and appear to be ready to vote for a candidate who can best protect their pocketbook. The percentage of Gopher State residents who view the U.S. economy as 'excellent'...

Clinton Makes Big Gains Against Obama vis-à-vis McCain in Upper Midwest

In polling conducted just as the Reverend Wright story broke nationally last week, Hillary Clinton appears to have made substantial gains across the Upper Midwest in terms of her relative competitiveness with Republican nominee John McCain, as compared to her competitor Barack Obama. SurveyUSA polls of 500+ registered voters in...

Coleman with 10-Point Lead Over Franken in New MN Senate Poll

Republican Senator Norm Coleman enjoys a 10-point lead over DFL hopeful Al Franken, according to a new survey of 644 registered voters by SurveyUSA, conducted on March 12th. Coleman leads Franken 51 to 41 percent, with 7 percent undecided. This represents a 9-point swing in Coleman's favor from the last...

Will Bush Drive Independents Away from McCain in Upper Midwest?

Last week John McCain, in a somewhat awkward festivity, accepted President George W. Bush's endorsement for the presidency after wrapping up the majority of delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination. McCain, setting aside his staunch support for the still generally unpopular War in Iraq, is the type of Republican...

MN Legislature Overrides Pawlenty's Transportation Bill Veto

In a fascinating development on Monday, the Minnesota House voted to override Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty's transportation bill veto. The DFL picked up 2 votes since the bill's passage, and thus had one vote to spare in a 91-41 vote on Monday. The Senate voted to override Pawlenty's veto 47-20...

The Bill Stops Here: Governor Pawlenty's Veto Pen

Governor Tim Pawlenty's veto on February 22nd of a controversial transportation bill has set the stage for the DFL-controlled legislature to attempt an override. Governor Pawlenty has deployed the veto more often (37 times since 2003) than all but 2 of his predecessors over the past 70 years. Governors Arne...

Getting to 90: House Override of Pawlenty's Transportation Bill Veto Unlikely

Governor Tim Pawlenty's veto last Friday of a controversial transportation bill raises the prospect of a veto-override attempt by a DFL-controlled legislature that passed the bills by wide margins on February 21st. The $6.6 billion dollar bill seeks to fund the state's roads, bridges, and transit by implementing a gasoline...

Rasmussen Poll: MN U.S. Senate Race A Dead Heat

A new Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters conducted February 16th finds 1-term Republican incumbent Senator Norm Coleman in a dead heat with both Al Franken and Mike Ciresi in the Gopher State. Franken leads Coleman 49 to 46 percent, within the poll's margin of error. This is the first...

Clinton Trails, Obama Sails Against McCain in IA, MN

Echoing similar results reported yesterday in Wisconsin, Barack Obama currently has a strong advantage when matched up against John McCain in the Upper Midwestern states of Iowa and Minnesota, especially when compared to Hillary Clinton, according to polls released today by Rasmussen and SurveyUSA. In Minnesota, a Rasmussen poll of...

MN US Senate: Coleman & Franken Tied in New Poll

A new SurveyUSA poll of 650 registered voters in Minnesota conducted February 10-11 finds 1-term Republican U.S. Senator Norm Coleman in a dead heat with DFL candidate Al Franken. Coleman, who has remained fairly popular with Minnesotans despite a statewide turn to the left in recent years, has a statistically...

MInnesota Caucus Live Blog

3:43 p.m. Caucuses will end in Minnesota at 8:00 p.m. CST. The Democrats will allocate 72 of its 88 convention delegates from the caucus vote tonight: 47 delegates are allocated based on the caucus results in each of the state's eight congressional districts, while 25 are allocated based on the...

MPR / HHH MN Senate Poll: Franken & Coleman in Dead Heat

A Minnesota Public Radio / Humphrey Institute poll of 917 Minnesotans finds DFL candidate Al Franken running ahead of 1-term Republican incumbent Norm Coleman 43 to 40 percent. The MPR / HHH survey, conducted January 20-27, marks the first time Franken has polled on top in any of the...

New MPR / HHH Poll Finds Clinton, McCain with Edge in Minnesota

A Minnesota Public Radio / Humphrey Institute survey of 917 Minnesotans conducted January 20-27 finds Hillary Clinton and John McCain with an edge in the presidential nomination race in the Gopher State (view the report). The pollsters note the survey was not conducted among likely caucus voters, so expect some...

McCain Only GOP-er to Defeat Dems in Minnesota

A brand new poll of registered Minnesota voters by SurveyUSA finds John McCain is the only Republican candidate who could beat Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, if the presidential election were held today. Smart Politics has discussed McCain's viability against the Democrats across key battleground states throughout the past year,...

Smart Politics Interviews Minnesota Democrats Exposed

Minnesota is home to a particularly lively political blogging community and Minnesota Democrats Exposed (MDE) is perhaps the most influential conservative political blog in the Gopher State. MDE, authored by Michael Brodkorb, is known for both breaking political news and a worldview that unflinchingly shines a light on the...

Live Blog: Redistricting Hearing at the Capitol

10:05 a.m. Several prominent former Minnesota officeholders will testify this morning on redistricting before the Senate's Committee on State and Local Government Operations and Oversight. Redistricting will be a big issue in Minnesota - especially in light of the fact that the Gopher State may lose 1 seat in 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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