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U.S. Senate


Coleman Popularity Virtually Unchanged Since Election Day, Despite Recent Poll Headline

Much has been made of the extremely low favorability ratings Norm Coleman (and Al Franken) are enduring in the wake of numbers released in last week's SurveyUSA poll of Minnesotans conducted after the conclusion of the 2008 U.S. Senate recount process. The poll found Coleman's favorability numbers dipping to just...

U.S. Senate Race Ends Up 12 Votes Shy of '62 Gubernatorial Margin of Victory Record

With the final results (court challenge pending) certified by the State Canvassing Board on Monday finding Al Franken with a 225-vote victory over Norm Coleman, the 2008 U.S. Senate race nearly eclipsed the 1962 gubernatorial election as the closest high-profile statewide election in Gopher State history. For 46 years and...

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...

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Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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