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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...

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...



Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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