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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...

Upper Midwest Representatives Receive New US House Committee Assignments

Earlier this week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced new Committee assignments for Freshmen members, plus added existing members to new Committees as Democrats increased their membership on Committees with their 30 seat gain in November's election. Starting his 6th term, Ron Kind (WI-03) was assigned to the influential Ways and...

Gubernatorial Approval Ratings Rise Noticeably After Elections

Approval ratings for all four Upper Midwest governors rose noticeably in polls conducted by SurveyUSA directly after Election Day (November 8-11). All three incumbent governors on the ballot in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota were victorious, and the Democrats retained control of the Iowa executive branch with Chet Culver replacing...

Smart Politics Scorecard, Part II: State Legislative Roundup

The Democratic party scored big wins across Upper Midwest state legislatures on Tuesday night. As projected here at Smart Politics, the Democrats picked up seats in all 8 chambers and took control of three of them: the Iowa House, Wisconsin Senate, and Minnesota House. Some democratic pickups - particularly in...

Upper Midwest State Legislative Projections

The last in a series of election projections, Smart Politics predicts which political party will win control of state legislatures across the Upper Midwest. Democrats are in an advantaged position in most states in each legislative chamber to pick up seats, based on the GOP needing to protect a higher...

Iowa Poll Roundup and Smart Politics Projections

Poll watchers are getting their fix this week with dozens of poll results released each day. For those who don't have the time to track down all of the individual poll results, Smart Politics offers the first of four race summaries and projections for the key battles in the...

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...

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...

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Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


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).


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