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Minnesota


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...

CSPG's Minnesota Redistricting Project to Testify Before Senate Today

Several prominent former Minnesota officeholders will testify on redistricting before the Senate's Committee on State and Local Government Operations and Oversight at 10 a.m. Friday morning at the Capitol. Testifying before the committee to discuss the creation of a bipartisan redistricting commission are former Governor Arne Carlson, former Vice President...

McCain Still Top GOP Dog In Battleground States

As tracked here at Smart Politics over the past few months, John McCain continues to prove to be the strongest Republican candidate to defeat the Democrats in 2008. McCain consistently, and by wide margins, polls better than his chief GOP rivals in almost all key battleground states—those states that Republicans...

Political Influence of Upper Midwest In Decline?

Iowa's influence on presidential politics is in the spotlight right now, with its caucuses now just 37 days away, on January 3, 2008. The winner of each party's caucus is by no means guaranteed to go on and win the nomination, but a surprise showing can go a long way...

McCain Continues To Pose Biggest Threat to Dems in Battleground States

John McCain, long ago the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, has been polling a distant fourth in national surveys in recent weeks (behind Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson), and even polled in fifth place behind Mike Huckabee in the latest Rasmussen poll. Despite these lagging numbers, John McCain...



Political Crumbs

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).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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