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National Politics


McCain Leading in Clean Sweep of 3 Early Primary States

Despite lukewarm performances at the first two GOP debates and a national campaign that appears to be lagging well behind Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Senator John McCain continues to lead the Republican frontrunner in new polls released by American Research Group (ARG) in 3 key states: Iowa (caucus = January...

Edwards Emerges Giuliani's Strongest Opponent

Despite running third behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in every national poll to become the Democratic presidential nominee, John Edwards has emerged as the only candidate poised thus far to defeat leading GOP contender, Rudy Giuliani. Earlier this week, SurveyUSA released polls in 11 states of head-to-head candidate...

Incumbency Advantage in Gubernatorial Elections

It was not much of a surprise when all three incumbent governors from the Upper Midwest (Tim Pawlenty, Mike Rounds, and Jim Doyle) won their respective re-election bids last November (at least not to Smart Politics, who projected as such). The incumbency advantage is not only a prized possession of...

Edwards Campaign Experiences Bump Nationally After Wife's Medical Announcement

It's been more than a week now since John and Elizabeth Edwards announced that her cancer had returned. Media coverage of the Edwards team was widely positive throughout the week, and the Edwards campaign has experienced a bump in the polls, both in the state polling as well as...

Democratic Senate Iraq War Resolution Fails

On Thursday the U.S. Senate rejected a Democratic-led joint resolution calling for phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq within 4 months and a goal of complete redeployment by the end of March 2008. The 50-48 vote included one Republican (Gordon Smith of Oregon) joining the Democrats, and three...

Scooter Libby Felony Conviction Fallout

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's conviction of four felony counts of lying under oath and obstruction of justice on Tuesday marked the highest-ranking White House official to be convicted in a federal investigation since the Reagan Iran-Contra scandal. Libby will likely appeal the verdict and he remains out of prison...

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...

Obama Fights Back At Australian PM, Though Fails Math Test

In a rare intervention into internal U.S. politics, Australian Prime Minister John Howard criticized 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's Iraq strategy to withdraw U.S. troops by March 2008. Howard told reporters if he was a terrorist he would "circle March 2008 on the calendar" and hope for Obama...

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...

Presidential Nominees Likely To Be Determined By <br>'The Unknown'

As politicians officially and unofficially begin their campaigns for the presidency in 2008, speculation about the strengths and weaknesses of each potential candidate will naturally be thoroughly debated in the media. Frequent questions already being posed by pundits include: Will Mitt Romney's Mormon faith alienate religious fundamentalists? Are John...

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,"...

Collegiality in 110th Congress Enhanced by Rosie-Donald Junk News Feud

As Democrats took control of Congress this week, a few reports have emerged of an apparent camaraderie between the outgoing Republicans and the incoming Democrats. Some of these reports deal with the trivial—such as Democrats taking a break from the new session as per outgoing new House Minority Leader John...

Will 2008 Republican National Convention Have An Impact On MN Presidential Vote?

When the Republican National Committee announced in September 2006 that its Site Selection Committee had voted to recommend the Twin Cities to host the 2008 Republican National Convention, it continued an interesting trend in GOP party politics. For the fourth consecutive convention, the Republicans will convene on a state which...

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...

John Edwards Officially Enters 2008 Presidential Race

Former Democratic North Carolina Senator and 2004 Vice-Presidential nominee John Edwards officially launched his 2008 presidential campaign Thursday. Edwards' announcement speech picked up on his 2004 stump speech in which he restated his fight for the less fortunate and his quest for America to achieve economic justice. The backdrop for...

When Words Become Reality: The Media Creation of Barack Obama

Just minutes after the Illinois State Senator's keynote address at the Democratic National Convention on July 27, 2004, media commentators and journalists began to write history by casting Barack Obama in the role of superstar, Democratic leader, and future president of the United States. Perhaps the media did not...

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...

Ethics and Corruption: A Shaky Start for the Democrats

Democrats have not yet officially ascended to power in D.C., but the early headlines coming out of Washington are not flattering to a party whose national campaign this fall included ethics and corruption as one of its central features. To begin with, House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi stumbled out of the...

Many Familiar Faces To Depart Capitol Hill After '06 Election

The anti-GOP wave that struck D.C. two weeks ago resulted in 22 Republican U.S. House incumbents being given their 2-month notice. This turnover, while quite high by historical standards, is perhaps not as remarkable as the fact that most of these incumbents had served their districts for a decade or...

GOP Struggling to Find Opportunities for Pickups in U.S. House Races

Yesterday's blog entry detailed how the Democratic Party has become increasingly competitive on a number of dimensions in challenging GOP-held U.S. House districts from 2002 to 2006. Today Smart Politics examines how Republicans have fared along these same measures—is the GOP becoming more or less competitive in Democratic-held districts? Overall,...



Political Crumbs

Mary Burke: English First?

While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


Does My Key Still Work?

Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


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