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We Are Not Traitors: Obama Scores Biggest Applause With Right-Wing Rhetoric

Barack Obama’s speech accepting the Democratic Party nomination was largely well-received and accomplished several things he was perceived to need to do: · Acknowledge Hillary (and Bill) Clinton’s efforts to rally her supporters to his side. · Provide some specifics as to the blueprint of his presidential agenda. · Show...

Obama-Biden: Familiar Bedfellows...Though You'd Never Know It

Most of the weekend’s media coverage of Barack Obama’s pick of Joe Biden to be his vice-presidential running mate focused on two competing, though related, angles: First, that Biden was a good choice because he will shore up Obama’s perceived lack of experience, especially on foreign policy issues; Biden...

Smart Politics on WCCO-TV's "Good Question"

Smart Politics' Eric Ostermeier was interviewed by Jason DeRusha on WCCO-TV's "Good Question" segment during Tuesday night's 10 o'clock telecast. DeRusha's Good Question tonight was, "Does the Vice President Pick Matter" Ostermeier explained why a VP pick is not a predictor of how a party's ticket will fare in November...

The Decline of a President: Tracing Bush's Approval Ratings in the Upper Midwest

Despite rising national unemployment rates, high gas prices, and overall economic uncertainty, George W. Bush remains basically no less popular among Upper Midwesterners in 2008 than he was in 2007. A Smart Politics study of nearly 180 public opinion polls conducted between 2004 and 2008 in the region finds Bush’s...

The Upper Midwestern Voting Bloc in Presidential Elections

Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have been (correctly) labeled as key battleground states in recent presidential elections. With the exception of George W. Bush’s narrow victory in the Hawkeye State in 2004, the three states have voted as a bloc dating back to 1988, when Michael Dukakis swept the region. However,...

Presidential Politics in Wisconsin: A Historical Overview

Since Wisconsinites cast their first presidential ballots in 1848, approximately 900,000 more votes have been cast for Republican presidential nominees than Democrats, out of more than 43.2 million votes cast across 40 presidential elections. Wisconsin has been on the winning side of Presidential politics in three-quarters (75 percent) of elections...

Bush Approval Rating Hits All-Time Low in Minnesota

Buried beneath the new horserace numbers coming from the Quinnipiac poll released today of 1,572 likely Minnesota voters is even more sobering news for President George W. Bush (and, perhaps, John McCain) as he finishes his second term: Bush’s approval rating has dipped to an all-time record low of 24...

What Are the Odds of a Third Straight Republican Term in the White House?

Opponents of Republican presidential nominee John McCain have been trying to derail his campaign by tying him to the hugely unpopular George W. Bush. Bush's approval numbers are still trickling downwards—now in the high 20s to low 30s in most national polls. One of the tactics used by the Democrats...

Bush Approval Rating in Upper Midwest Lingers in the Basement

Despite relatively positive news coming out of Iraq and a new campaign season that has focused the lens of the news media off the sitting president to the new contenders, George W. Bush cannot shake the horrendous job approval rating that he has faced in the Upper Midwest for...

Presidential Politics in Iowa: A Historical Overview

Despite being a competitive battle ground state in recent years, and an important state in determining the nominees of the Democratic and Republican parties, the state of Iowa has not had a long history of voting for Democrats in the race for the White House. Overall, Republicans have carried the...

Presidential Politics in Minnesota II: The Battleground State

Even though Democrats have carried the Gopher State in eight consecutive presidential elections dating back to 1976, and 16 of the past 19, Minnesota has rightfully earned its reputation as a purple battleground state when it comes to presidential politics. Despite the Democratic dominance, the margin of victory in presidential...

Presidential Politics in Minnesota: A Historical Overview

Since Minnesotans cast their first presidential ballots in 1860, nearly 1 million more votes have been marked for Democratic (Democrat + DFL) presidential nominees compared to votes for Republican nominees, out of more than 38.6 million votes cast across 37 presidential elections. However, a larger percentage of votes (based on...

Midwestern GOP Senators Quick to Comment on Bush's Speech

Republicans Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Charles Grassley of Iowa—were the first to comment on President George W. Bush's nationally televised address on Iraq. Many pundits had speculated that one of the key audiences for Bush's speech were Republican lawmakers, especially those (like Coleman), who have been critical of...

Sen. Feingold Calls for Censure of President Bush

Wisconsin Democratic junior Senator Russ Feingold called for the censure of President George W. Bush on Sunday. Feingold issued a press release stating he will introduce two censure resolutions condemning not only President Bush, but also Vice President Dick Cheney and other administration officials for "misconduct relating to the...

Bush Ratings Tumble To Record Lows in Iowa

In what seems like a monthly tradition at Smart Politics comes the latest report of new record low job approval ratings for President George W. Bush in the Upper Midwest—this time in Iowa. The latest SurveyUSA poll conducted July 13-15 of 600 adults in Iowa shows only 28 percent...

Wisconsinites Remain Sour about Bush, Direction of Country

A mid-June Badger Poll, conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, finds the vast majority of Wisconsin residents are quite pessimistic about both national politics as well as the direction of the nation. Only 33 percent of Wisconsinites are satisfied with the direction of the United States—virtually the same results found...

Bush Job Approval Rating Falls Below 30% in Minnesota

President George W. Bush's approval rating has tumbled to an all time low in Minnesota—falling to 29 percent in the latest SurveyUSA poll (conducted June 8-10). Bush's descent in the Gopher state has been gradual but steady in the more than 2 years since SurveyUSA began polling Minnesota residents...

New Lows for Bush in Wisconsin and Iowa

President George W. Bush's job approval ratings have dipped to record lows in both Wisconsin and Iowa, according to the latest round of surveys released this month by the pollster SurveyUSA. In a poll of 600 adults conducted May 11-13, only 32 percent of Wisconsinites approved of Bush's performance—down...

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...

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...

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Political Crumbs

The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


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