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Iowa


Fred Thompson: A Promising Non-Candidate in Iowa

The latest public poll for the Iowa Republican Caucus by American Research Group includes a new name in the mix: former Senator (and longtime actor) Fred Thompson. Thompson—not to be confused with former Wisconsin Governor and ex-Bush cabinet member Tommy Thompson—has not announced his candidacy, but is being encouraged...

John Edwards Surging in Early Iowa Polling

While momentum shifts have not been so noticeable in national polls for the Democratic nominee for president (nearly all of which have Hillary Clinton with a significant lead over Barack Obama), such shifts have occurred in early polling at the state level, including Iowa, which will hold the first...

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...

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...

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...

Tom Vilsack Ends Presidential Run

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack ended his bid for the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination today, citing difficulties in raising enough money to launch a viable campaign. Vilsack was the first democrat to officially enter the race last November. Vilsack was polling at a distant 4th in his home...

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...

Iowa State Senate Passes Resolution Opposing Iraq Surge in Troops

Yesterday the Democratic-lead Iowa State Senate adopted a Resolution opposing the commitment of additional American troops to the war in Iraq. The resolution was sponsored by 28 of the 30 Democratic senators in the chamber and states: "That the Iowa Senate urges that members of the United States Congress and...

New Zogby IA Poll Shows Momentum for Clinton

A new poll of likely Democratic Iowa caucus voters released this week by Zogby finds Senator Hillary Clinton gaining momentum in Iowa in her bid to win the Democratic nomination. Clinton's support in Iowa increased from 16 to 24 percent in just three weeks, leaving her tied with John Edwards...

Harkin Lashes Out At Bush Iraq War Plan and GOP Colleagues

Characterizing GOP Senate leadership actions earlier in the week as a "Republican effort to stifle debate," Iowa junior Senator Tom Harkin roundly criticized both President George W. Bush's Iraq war plan as well as his Senate Republican colleagues for exercising their procedural rights to prevent a full floor debate...

Clinton, Obama, Romney Get Bump in New IA Poll

Five weeks and an official announcement of her candidacy later, Hillary Clinton has increased her early advantage over John Edwards in a new poll of likely Democratic Iowa Caucus voters by American Research Group. Clinton, who declared her run for the presidency approximately one week before the poll's field...

Upper Midwestern US Senators React to State of the Union Address

Several U.S. Senators from the Upper Midwest have released official statements in reaction to President George W. Bush's seventh State of the Union Address from last night. Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa stated he was impressed with Bush's overall leadership and his "very ambitious agenda" to make "America energy independent...

Could Tom Vilsack Emerge As the Next Bill Clinton?

When Iowa ex-Governor Tom Vilsack announced his candidacy for the presidency two months ago he was immediately labeled as a 'long shot.' While there are some similarities to the successful long-shot bid then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton launched in 1992, the hill Vilsack must climb is much steeper. Both...

Addresses by Upper Midwest Governors Remarkably Similar

Three gubernatorial addresses conducted this month across the Upper Midwest have been remarkably similar with regards to the main issues raised in the speeches. Republican Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's State of the State address delivered last week focused on four primary issues—better government, better energy, better health care, and better...

Unified Democratic Party Control a Rarity in Iowa Politics

When Democrats took control of the Iowa House last November, it marked a rarity in Iowa politics that had not occurred in more than 40 years: concurrent Democratic control of the Governor's office, Senate, and House. The last time Democrats were elected to sole control of both the executive...

Upper Midwestern Republican Senators Weigh in on Bush Iraq Plan

Two more Upper Midwestern U.S. Senators—both Republicans—have released statements in response to President Bush's new plan outlined in a national address earlier this week. South Dakota junior senator John Thune acknowledged the need for change in Iraq, stated winning in Iraq is the "right thing to do for America's security,"...

Ford Ran Successful Upper Midwest Presidential Campaign in 1976

The passing of our 38th President Gerald Ford prompted Smart Politics to take a look at his 1976 presidential campaign in the Upper Midwest—and the close races he faced with Jimmy Carter that year. Richard Nixon—who had nearly swept the nation's electoral votes in 1972—made a clean sweep of the...

Iowa Projected to Lose 1 Congressional Seat in 2012 Reapportionment

The Hotline, the on-line wing of National Journal, is reporting that Iowa is one of a handful of states projected to lose one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2012 reapportionment that will occur after the 2010 Census. Losing representation in Congress is nothing new to Iowans,...

No Surprises in Early Iowa GOP Poll

Last week's Iowa poll that unofficially launched the 2008 Election season found little surprises on the Republican side of the ballot. John McCain (27%) and Rudy Giuliani (26%) led the field of several potential Republican candidates (virtually none of whom have officially declared their candidacy for president). While four Democrats...

Obama Catches Edwards in Early 2008 Iowa Caucus Poll

Illinois Senator Barack Obama and ex-Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards lead the field for the all-important support of Democratic Iowa caucus voters, according to a new poll by KCCI-TV released earlier this week (the poll has a margin of error of +/- 5.0 points). Edwards, who has campaigned continuously in...

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Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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