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Republicans In Minnesota Warming to Obama More Than In Other Upper Midwestern States

Barack Obama is officially in the ‘honeymoon phase’ of his presidency – the 44th president is just one week into his administration with approval ratings through the roof (67 percent in the latest Gallup survey, with just 14 percent disapproving). It is no surprise to learn that Democrats and independents...

Smart Politics On WCCO-TV's "Good Question": Obama and His Blackberry

Smart Politics' Eric Ostermeier was interviewed by the always-affable Jason DeRusha for his "Good Question" segment on WCCO-TV Tuesday evening. The "Good Question" at issue was, "Why Can't the President Use E-Mail" - in light of Barack Obama's recent announcement that he would be giving up his Blackberry when he...

Smart Politics Projections: The Presidency

Through the morning of November 4th, Smart Politics is running a series of electoral projections for national and Upper Midwestern federal and state governmental contests. The twelfth set of projections in the series is for the Presidency. Smart Politics Projections: The Presidency Barack Obama’s attempt to capture Republican states like...

Commentary: Why Picking Sarah Palin Was Smart Politics

When I walked into the post office on University Avenue in Minneapolis yesterday, two friendly clerks with whom I’ll occasionally discuss politics exclaimed to me, “You were right!? Well, not quite. For about two months it is true that I have been telling anyone who asked (including my friends at...

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...

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Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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