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U.S. Senate


Will Al Franken Be the Favorite in 2014?

Presuming Al Franken is eventually seated as the junior Senator from Minnesota sometime this year, the Republican Party will no doubt soon be gearing up to plan his political demise in 2014 - whether with Norm Coleman in a rematch or against another GOP opponent. Of course, assessing the likelihood...

Franken's (Apparent) Victory Is 4th Weakest U.S. Senate Performance in DFL History

Throughout his U.S. Senate campaign, Al Franken was dogged by criticisms, even peppered from within his own party, that he was a 'weak candidate' for the DFL. These criticisms took many forms, such as stern words regarding Franken's writings and temperament from respected DFL U.S. Representative Betty McCollum to...

Franken Has Big Edge in County Distribution of Absentee Ballots

Al Franken's 49-vote lead is expected by nearly all analysts to increase after the tabulation of wrongly excluded absentee ballots by the Canvassing Board this weekend. The final, hard data is now in to confirm these suspicions. Of the 953 ballots sent by the state's 87 counties to the Board,...

Smart Politics Projections: U.S. Senate Races

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 eleventh projections in the series are U.S. Senate races nationwide. Smart Politics Projections: U.S. Senate Races Democratic Victories (+7) Alaska (pick-up) Arkansas Colorado (pick-up)...

Upper Midwest Delegation Votes 6-2 As $700 Billion Financial Industry Bailout Sails Through Senate

The United States Senate voted 74 to 25 Wednesday night, in support of a revised bill that would, in part, fund $700 billion in a ‘rescue’ of the financial industry. The Upper Midwest delegation voted 6 to 2 in favor of the bill, with Democrats Russ Feingold and Tim Johnson...

Battleground States Through the Lens of the U.S. Senate

What makes a battleground state a battleground state? For one, obviously, presidential races decided by narrow victory margins. But another way is to examine how a state has voted in other statewide elections. Does a state tend to only elect Democrats, only Republicans, or a mixture? The most widely circulated...

Coleman with 10-Point Lead Over Franken in New MN Senate Poll

Republican Senator Norm Coleman enjoys a 10-point lead over DFL hopeful Al Franken, according to a new survey of 644 registered voters by SurveyUSA, conducted on March 12th. Coleman leads Franken 51 to 41 percent, with 7 percent undecided. This represents a 9-point swing in Coleman's favor from the last...

SD's Tim Johnson Coasting in Early U.S. Senate Poll

In recent years, when Republicans have looked for a competitive race in which to pick up a U.S. Senate seat, their eyes frequently turned to South Dakota. South Dakota is a reliable state for the GOP in its state legislature as well as vote for president: in the 29 presidential...

Rasmussen Poll: MN U.S. Senate Race A Dead Heat

A new Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters conducted February 16th finds 1-term Republican incumbent Senator Norm Coleman in a dead heat with both Al Franken and Mike Ciresi in the Gopher State. Franken leads Coleman 49 to 46 percent, within the poll's margin of error. This is the first...

MN US Senate: Coleman & Franken Tied in New Poll

A new SurveyUSA poll of 650 registered voters in Minnesota conducted February 10-11 finds 1-term Republican U.S. Senator Norm Coleman in a dead heat with DFL candidate Al Franken. Coleman, who has remained fairly popular with Minnesotans despite a statewide turn to the left in recent years, has a statistically...

MPR / HHH MN Senate Poll: Franken & Coleman in Dead Heat

A Minnesota Public Radio / Humphrey Institute poll of 917 Minnesotans finds DFL candidate Al Franken running ahead of 1-term Republican incumbent Norm Coleman 43 to 40 percent. The MPR / HHH survey, conducted January 20-27, marks the first time Franken has polled on top in any of the...

South Dakota US Senate Historical Snapshot

Now that Mississippi Republican Trent Lott has announced his retirement, 35 U.S. Senate seats will be on the ballot next November—23 held by the GOP and just 12 by Democrats. One of the few seats targeted by the Republicans is that held by Democrat Tim Johnson of South Dakota. Johnson...

And A 3rd MN Senate Poll: Coleman Still On Top

In the third public poll released during the past week on the Minnesota U.S. Senate race, a SurveyUSA poll conducted November 2-5 finds Republican Norm Coleman leading all four potential DFL rivals. * Coleman leads Al Franken 48 to 44 percent. * Coleman leads Mike Ciresi 49 to 43 percent....

Coleman's Lead In Single Digits In New Rasmussen Poll

A new Rasmussen poll was released today of 500 likely voters in the Minnesota Senate race that gives Republican Norm Coleman a narrow lead over both candidates, but confirms the race is still 'one to watch' in 2008. Coleman leads Mike Ciresi by a 46-43 margin in the new survey,...

Coleman in Dead Heat With DFL in MN 2008 Senate Race

Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman has seen the 20-point lead he held in February 2007 against both Al Franken and Mike Ciresi dissolve to a tie according to a new SurveyUSA poll conducted October 24-28 of 692 registered voters in the Gopher State. Coleman holds a statistically insignificant 46 percent...

Senator Johnson to Run for 3rd Term In South Dakota

On Friday South Dakota senior Senator Tim Johnson confirmed what had been suspected for months: the 2-term Democratic incumbent will run for a 3rd term in 2008. Senator Johnson is extremely popular in his home state, and perhaps has gained greater favor among the electorate after his near fatal brain...

Upper Midwest Senators Vote 6-2 Condemning Petraeus Attacks

In an amendment passed 72-25 by the Senate on Thursday, all but two Upper Midwestern Senators voted to condemn recent attacks launched against General David Petraeus, the Commanding U.S. General in Iraq, and head of its multi-national force. The amendment was provoked by the infamous MoveOn.org print advertisement questioning Petraeus'...

Pressure High on Sen. Coleman to Help Minimize Democratic Caucus Margin

When Democrats narrowly won a majority in the U.S. Senate in 2006, it was expected 2008 would shape up to be a fierce battle for control of that chamber. The political reality at this moment in time, however, is that Democrats nearly have as good of a chance to win...

Will 3rd Party Candidates Tilt MN 2008 Senate Race?

As a recent SurveyUSA poll showed Norm Coleman's lead over both Al Franken and Mike Cerisi down to low single digits, the question emerges as to whether or not the introduction of a viable third party candidate in the race could influence the outcome. In two of the past three...

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...

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Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


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).


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