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Minnesota


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...

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...



Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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