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Minnesota


MN House: GOP at a Disadvantage

After losing thirteen seats in the Minnesota State House in 2004, the republicans hold a slim 68-66 advantage over their rival DFL. Even if one puts aside the fact that the state (and national) climate is trending democratic in recent months, the GOP is already in a disadvantaged position to...

MN-08: An Intriguing Matchup

Minnesota's 8th Congressional District (comprising the northeastern Iron Range counties), is home to one of the more unusual Congressional races this year, in which DFL incumbent James Obserstar, the senior member of Minnesota's US House delegation, is being challenged by Republican Rod Grams, a former US Representative in his own...

Religion and Minnesota Politics

The relationship between religion and politics should fascinate even the most casual political observer. (In recent weeks religion has become an interesting sidebar in the 6th District US House race—a matter best saved for another blog entry). Karl Rove—President George W. Bush's trusted political strategist in the White House—is credited...

MN-02: Rowley Closes Gap

Coleen Rowley, the DFL candidate in Minnesota's 2nd US House district, has closed her deficit to 2-term GOP incumbent John Kline from 20 to 8 points in less than three weeks, according to polls released by SurveyUSA in late September and mid-October. The poll's media sponsor is KSTP-TV Channel...

Upper Midwest US House Races Tighten in GOP Held Districts...But Is a Revolution Afoot?

A recent spate of polls tracking US House races in the Upper Midwest reflect what is perceived by most political analysts to be a nation-wide trend: GOP-held districts that were secure in 2004 now seem to be competitive or near competitive. The GOP leads the current Upper Midwest US House...

Split Ticket Voting Revisited

I co-authored a report on Split Ticket Voting released today at the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. The popular lore is that Americans and Minnesotans are sharply divided into Republican "red" and Democratic "blue." Although the divisions are clear, there are also a significant number of voters...

Who's Looking On the Sunny Side of Life?

The Midwest…the heartland of America…where caustic coastal cynicism has not yet taken root and a hearty optimism about life in these United States still prevails. Syrupy, true, but that description about life in the Upper Midwest sounds like it might once have been plausible. But, of course, this description simply...

MN: The Decline of Independents?

As previously mentioned at Smart Politics (October 2, 2006), Minnesota has led the Upper Midwest in successful third party candidacies for more than a decade. Third parties spring up for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a decline in identification with the two major parties. During...

US House Redistricting: Iowa Gets Lowest Marks for Proportionality

In the coming year or so states will begin to outline plans for the redistricting process that will go into effect in 2012 after the 2010 Census results. One way to measure the 'success' of these processes is to examine to what extent the proportion of votes cast for...

Third Parties: Minnesota Leads the Pace in US House Races

Minnesota's historical success of placing third party candidates on the ballot usually begins and ends with Jesse Ventura. In a report released earlier this summer, the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance also showed Ventura's legacy in sustaining third party success in the state. 'Success' is, of course,...

Blue Dog Democrats Well Represented in Upper Midwest

The Blue Dog Democrats, though a dying breed, have a fair-sized delegation from the Upper Midwest. The Blue Dog coalition (originally formed in 1995) is a group of 37 conservative and moderate democrats who are seen as serious players in the policy arena due to frequently being swing votes. While...

MN: Split Ticket Voting Revisited

The latest Minnesota polls show the DFL surging in the US Senate race and in a dead heat in the gubernatorial race. The prospects of split ticket voting in these races was discussed a few days ago here at Smart Politics (September 25); today we reexamine this issue, in light...

Will Minnesotans Split Their Ticket in November?

Three polls released inside of the last two weeks by the Star Tribune, Humphrey Institute, and Minnesota Public Radio all show DFL US Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar with a significant, double-digit lead over GOP nominee Mark Kennedy. These three polls also show DFL gubernatorial candidate Mike Hatch running neck and...

MN Senate: New HHH Poll Also Finds Double-Digit Lead for Klobuchar

Excerpts from a report by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance on its new poll on the Minnesota race for U.S. Senate: The Democratic Party nominee for U.S. Senate, Amy Klobuchar, holds a commanding advantage over the Republican Party nominee, Mark Kennedy, according to a Humphrey...

MN Governor: Race Still a Toss-Up

Excerpts from a new report by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance on its new poll on the Minnesota Governor's race: Governor Tim Pawlenty and Attorney General Mike Hatch are tied in what is shaping up as a classic bread and butter campaign, according to a...

MN Senate: Klobuchar Opens Up Remarkable Lead In 'Controversial' New MN Poll

Smart Politics normally does not blog on the results of a single poll; this site endeavors to provide more than the horserace angle to politics. However, the recent Minnesota Poll released Sunday night does warrant some discussion. DFL nominee for US Senate Amy Klobuchar now leads GOP nominee Mark...

MN State Legislative Incumbents Hold Serve

No news was good news for the four Minnesota state legislative incumbents challenged in Tuesday's primary—each of whom enjoyed a double-digit victory to move on to November's general election. The big story was in District 12, where GOP incumbent Paul Koering survived a high-profile race in beating city councilman...

State Legislative Incumbents: Coasting in MN, Challenged in WI

While most interest and suspense among the public in election years is reserved for November, primaries can highlight the differences among states in the power of state legislative incumbency in deterring challenges from within one's own party. Primaries today in Minnesota and Wisconsin highlight how Minnesota's political party system is...

Where Have All the 3rd Party Minnesota Candidates Gone?

In recent years Minnesota has lead all Upper Midwestern states with the highest percentage of successful third party campaigns in state legislative races. While third party candidates still have a significant presence in the Gopher state (especially in state-wide elections), the number of third party candidates in Minnesota's 2006 state...

Immigration: The Invisible Issue in the MN US Senate Race?

Illegal immigration continues to be a hot topic nationally, regularly ranking in the Top 5 most important national problems and Top 3 priorities for the U.S. Congress. Not only has the question of how to handle the influx of illegal immigrants that cross the US-Mexican border permeated the national...



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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