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Gun Ownership Upper Midwestern Snapshot

The mass murders at Virginia Tech University this week have inspired those in gun control circles to renew their pressure on politicians to reexamine our nation's gun laws; it has also caused 2nd Amendment strict constructionists to dig in deeper to fight against such changes. In their coverage of the...

Live Blog at GOP Events Announced

The next two forums sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance have been announced in their "Connecting with Government" series - both with officeholders from the Republican Party: Senator Norm Coleman May 14, 2007 Time: TBD Cowles Auditorium Humphrey Center 301 19th Ave S., Minneapolis Congressman...

Live Blog: Rep. Walz Event

10:00 am. Freshman Democratic congressman Tim Walz's (MN-01) talk today is entitled "Tomorrow's Foreign Policy: What We're Teaching Today's Students and Why It Matters." 10:10 am. Walz begins his talk by discussing the importance of opening a line of communication between citizens and the government. He explains how his first...

Smart Politics Live Blogging At Walz Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live from the Humphrey Institute on Thursday, April 12th, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am at Congressman Tim Walz's (MN-01) speech on educating students about U.S. foreign policy. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled "Tomorrow's...

Live blog: McCollum Talk on Afghanistan and Pakistan

12:00 pm. Representative McCollum's (MN-04) speech today is entitled, "American Foreign Policy: A Focus On Afghanistan." McCollum is a new member to the House Appropriations Committee and is the Senior Democratic Whip. McCollum just returned from a visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan. 12:10 pm. Congressmen from both sides of the...

Smart Politics Live Blogging At McCollum Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live from the Humphrey Institute on Monday, April 9th, from Noon to 1:00 pm at Congresswoman Betty McCollum's speech on her recent trip to Afghanistan. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled "American Foreign Policy: A...

Klobuchar Event: Live Blogging

12:05 pm. Senator Klobuchar opened to a very warm reception. She began by summarizing her achievements in the Senate - being a Junior Whip, passing the Iraq War Resolution, and fighting for ethics reform. Klobuchar has the crowd in the aisles with some colorful personal stories - ranging from her...

Klobuchar, the Environment, and Smart Politics Live Blogging

Smart Politics will be blogging live from the Humphrey Institute on Monday, April 2nd, from Noon to 1:30 pm at Senator Amy Klobuchar's speech on global warming and renewable energy. Klobuchar's talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled "The Heat Is On:...

Smart Politics Live Blogging at Klobuchar Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live from 12:00-1:30 pm at an event sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance (CSPG) at the Humphrey Institute on Monday, April 2nd. The event will feature Minnesota DFL Senator Amy Klobuchar, who will speak on global warming and renewable energy....

Upper Midwestern States Contemplate Presidential Primary Dates

As Election 2008 heats up, states across the nation are strategically shuffling their primary and caucus schedules in attempt to become more relevant players in the presidential campaign. Upper Midwestern states are also contemplating changes to their schedules in view of the potential benefits moving up primary voting day would...

Turnover in 2008 MN House Party Control Follow-up

My Smart Politics entry on Monday for Twin Cities Public Television's Almanac: At the Capitol site prompted a quick reply by the GOP leadership. Minnesota House Minority Leader Marty Seifert offered a thoughtful rejoinder here to my historical analysis demonstrating the rarity of turnover in party control in consecutive elections...

GOP Unlikely to Take Back Minnesota House in 2008

The new Smart Politics commentary for Twin Cities Public Television's Almanac: At the Capitol site is now posted here. Several commentators and news reports have filled out their 'DFL scorecard' as we pass the halfway point in this year's legislative session. My commentary suggests no matter how poorly or how...

Norm Coleman Maintains Double-Digit Lead Over Al Franken in New Poll

One of the Democratic National Committee's most targeted U.S. Senate seats in 2008 is assuredly the one held by Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman. Thus far Al Franken has emerged as the most prominent candidate to challenge Coleman in the Senator's bid for a second term. The latest public...

Smoking in MN: Yes in Bars, No in Restaurants

The public opinion firm SurveyUSA recently released a series of questions asked of a random sample of 500 adults in Minnesota addressing a variety of social public policy issues on the state's legislative agenda. Regarding the proposed smoking ban taken up by the legislature this session, a plurality of...

Female Legislators in MN At Record High; IA, WI, and SD Lag Behind National Average

Minnesota voters set a record in November 2006 by electing the highest percentage of female legislators to both the state House (43, 32.1 percent) and Senate (27, 40.3 percent) in Gopher State history. Overall, at 34.8 percent, Minnesota ranks 4th in the nation in terms of the highest percentage of...

Tax Increases Not a Deal Breaker in Minnesota

The new Smart Politics commentary for Twin Cities Public Television's Almanac: At the Capitol site is now posted here. In it I challenge the assertions made by Minnesota Republican state Representative Marty Seifert in his February 24th blog that Minnesotans will oppose tax hikes imposed by the DFL this legislative...

Global Warming Acknowledged in Upper Midwest

Al Gore's involvement in the documentary An Inconvenient Truth has paid great dividends for the former Vice President—garnering near universal acclaim, and a new platform for the man many in Democratic circles hope to run for President in 2008. Gore has not made that announcement yet, but his musings...

IA, MN, and WI Share Identical View of Bush's Job Performance

Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin will likely remain prized battleground states in the 2008 Presidential election, as they were previously in 2004 and 2000. And while there is still at least a trace of purple in each, these three Upper Midwestern states seem to share a singular view of our current...

Franken Announces Senate Candidacy; Starts 22 Points in the Hole

On Wednesday Al Franken officially announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate—aiming to become the DLF nominee to challenge 1-term Minnesota Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in 2008. As discussed in a February 2, 2007 Smart Politics entry, Franken will have an uphill battle to win both the DFL primary...

Tim Walz Plays Hardball...and Goes Hitless

On Tuesday afternoon rookie Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz (MN-01) was interviewed by Chris Matthews on MSNBC's political show Hardball. Earlier in the day Walz had spoken multiple times on the floor of the U.S. House supporting a Democrat-backed resolution criticizing President George W. Bush's decision to add more troops...



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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