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Minnesota


Presidential Politics in Minnesota II: The Battleground State

Even though Democrats have carried the Gopher State in eight consecutive presidential elections dating back to 1976, and 16 of the past 19, Minnesota has rightfully earned its reputation as a purple battleground state when it comes to presidential politics. Despite the Democratic dominance, the margin of victory in presidential...

Presidential Politics in Minnesota: A Historical Overview

Since Minnesotans cast their first presidential ballots in 1860, nearly 1 million more votes have been marked for Democratic (Democrat + DFL) presidential nominees compared to votes for Republican nominees, out of more than 38.6 million votes cast across 37 presidential elections. However, a larger percentage of votes (based on...

First MN Poll of Pres. Primary Matchups Released

The Star Tribune's Minnesota Poll has released the first public poll of Democratic and Republican primary matchups in the Gopher State. It should be noted that the poll, conducted from a sample of 802 adults from September 18-23, has a very large margin of error for the Democratic (MoE =...

Democrats Still Lead GOP Presidential Hopefuls in MN

The latest round of election matchups in Minnesota among the leading presidential candidates finds Democrats leading in each scenario. Like most other states polled by SurveyUSA in mid-September, John Edwards outperforms Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in matchups versus Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Mitt Romney. Edwards (+51 net advantage)...

Pressure High on Sen. Coleman to Help Minimize Democratic Caucus Margin

When Democrats narrowly won a majority in the U.S. Senate in 2006, it was expected 2008 would shape up to be a fierce battle for control of that chamber. The political reality at this moment in time, however, is that Democrats nearly have as good of a chance to win...

DFL Prospects in Ramstad's 3rd CD Open Seat

After Republican U.S. Representative Jim Ramstad announced his retirement Monday, effective at the end of this term (his 9th), the buzz around Minnesota politics was that his open seat would produce a competitive Congressional District race—one that was ripe for the picking for the DFL. And there is data...

Will 3rd Party Candidates Tilt MN 2008 Senate Race?

As a recent SurveyUSA poll showed Norm Coleman's lead over both Al Franken and Mike Cerisi down to low single digits, the question emerges as to whether or not the introduction of a viable third party candidate in the race could influence the outcome. In two of the past three...

Midwestern GOP Senators Quick to Comment on Bush's Speech

Republicans Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Charles Grassley of Iowa—were the first to comment on President George W. Bush's nationally televised address on Iraq. Many pundits had speculated that one of the key audiences for Bush's speech were Republican lawmakers, especially those (like Coleman), who have been critical of...

Franken and Ciresi Close In Further On Sen. Coleman in New Poll

In a new poll released today by Rasmussen Reports, Republican Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman now holds 5 and 4-point leads over his chief rivals—Al Franken and Mike Ciresi respectively. The poll, conducted September 6th of 500 likely voters in the Gopher State, finds Al Franken has closed the gap from...

Senator Coleman Critical of Gonzales, Craig

Senator Norm Coleman has taken advantage of two events this week to demonstrate to his Minnesota constituency that he is a centrist, independent voice for the state. In both cases he was critical of fellow prominent Republicans in Washington, D.C. On Monday, in response to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation,...

Live Blogging at Congressman Ramstad Event

12:00 pm. Jim Ramstad's speech today is entitled "Life as a Centrist in the New Congress." Ramstad has touted his moderate, centrist credentials in recent years, and there is evidence in his voting record to bolster this claim. In 2006, the Republican congressman was rated fairly dead center -- the...

Smart Politics Live Blogging at Congressman Ramstad Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live covering Republican Congressman Jim Ramstad (MN-03) from the Humphrey Institute on Tuesday, August 14th, from Noon to 1:15 pm. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled " "Life as a Centrist in the New Congress" and...

GOP Holds on to MN 28B House Seat; But What Does It Mean?

Republican Steve Drazkowski defeated DFL candidate Linda Pfeilsticker 52.9 to 46.9 percent in a special election in House District 28B to replace former Rep. Steve Sviggum on Tuesday. While Ron Carey, the state Republican Party Chairman characterized Drazkowski's win as signaling "growing Republican momentum as we head into 2008," the...

Coleman and Klobuchar Seek $250 Million for I-35 Bridge Reconstruction

Minnesota Senators Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar spearheaded federal legislation on Thursday to not only provide funds to rebuild the I-35 bridge, but also improve infrastructure problems nationwide. The Senators first called on the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) to immediately release emergency relief funding for the I-35W bridge disaster. However,...

Coleman and Klobuchar Release Joint Statement on Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

Minnesota Senators Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar released a joint statement tonight on the tragic I-35 bridge collapse over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis that occurred on Wednesday evening. Minnesota Senators Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar send their thoughts and prayers to the people of Minnesota, and pledge the full...

Coleman's Lead Shrinks Over DFL-ers in New SurveyUSA Poll

There are good reasons the Democratic Party is targeting Minnesota for one of their best chances at a pick-up in the 2008 elections for the U.S. Senate. First, Republican incumbent Norm Coleman's job approval ratings have generally been mediocre to just south of mediocre throughout most of his four...

Franken vs. Coleman: Clinton vs. Lazio Revisited?

When Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate from the state of New York in the Autumn of 1999 she quickly was denounced by her political opponents as a carpetbagger—having never previously resided in New York. Ultimately, Clinton achieved a 55—44 percent victory over Republican Rick Lazio, with...

How Will Upper Midwestern Independents Vote In 2008?

With the prospects of a potential high profile Independent presidential candidacy by New York Mayor (and billionaire) Michael Bloomberg on the horizon, gaining the votes of political independents becomes even a higher prize for the establishment parties in 2008. Independents comprise approximately 25 percent of the electorate in Minnesota and...

Iraq War Policy: How Will Coleman Vote?

Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman's position on Iraq policy could be crucial not only to the fate of Democratic-sponsored proposals in the Senate to set a firm timeline for troop withdrawal, but also in determining how much of a favorite he is to win reelection in 2008. Coleman has...

Live Blogging: Congressman Oberstar on Transportation Policy

12:00 p.m. The title of Congressman Jim Oberstar's (MN-08) talk today at the Humphrey Institute is "Transportation Policy and America's Future." Oberstar is the Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, after serving more than a decade as its ranking Democratic member. In part due to the 17-term Congressman's...



Political Crumbs

The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


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