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U.S. Senate


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...

Senators Harkin and Feingold Don't View Terrorist Threat In Iraq To Be In U.S. National Security Interest

In one of many votes held during a late night session on Capitol Hill Tuesday night, the U.S. Senate overwhelming passed an amendment expressing: The sense of the Senate that it is in the national security interest of the United States that Iraq not become a failed state and a...

Iraq War Policy: How Will Coleman Vote?

Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman's position on Iraq policy could be crucial not only to the fate of Democratic-sponsored proposals in the Senate to set a firm timeline for troop withdrawal, but also in determining how much of a favorite he is to win reelection in 2008. Coleman has...

US Senate 2008 Forecast: GOP In Trouble

While most eyes are on the wide-open presidential primary campaigns, an important fight for control of the Senate will also take place in 2008. Republicans are looking to pry back control of the Democrat's narrow majority, while Democrats seek to expand their advantage and inch closer to a 60-seat, filibuster-proof...

The 'Nays' Have It: Upper Midwest Senate Delegation & Full Body Vote Against Immigration Bill

On Thursday the United States Senate voted against cloture on the high profile immigration reform bill that divided politicians on Capitol Hill much more than the American public. Overall, a vast majority of Americans opposed the bill, advocating 'enforcement first' immigration policies, such as sealing the border, before contemplating...

Norm Coleman Breaks with GOP Party Leadership on Gonzales Vote

Republican Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman continues to part from his party leadership on the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales issue. On Monday Coleman joined 6 other Republican Senators in a failed attempt (53-38) to invoke cloture for a Senate resolution condemning the beleaguered Attorney General, who is embroiled in an...

Coleman Maintains Large Leads Over DFL Challengers

A new Minnesota Public Radio poll of 625 registered voters finds Norm Coleman maintaining 20+ point leads over both Al Franken and Mike Ciresi—the leading contenders for the DFL U.S. Senate nomination. The new poll numbers are virtually identical to a poll taken of 632 registered voters by Survey...

Live Blogging: Senator Norm Coleman Event

9:45 a.m. Republican Senator Norm Coleman will be speaking on energy and politics at 10 am today at the Humphrey's Cowles Auditorium. Coleman's speech is entitled: "Building from the Center: Getting the Job Done on Renewable Energy." This is the 4th in a series of the Center for the Study...

Smart Politics Live Blogging at Sen. Coleman Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live from the Humphrey Institute on Monday, May 14th, from 10:00 am to 11:15 am at Senator Norm Coleman's speech on renewable energy. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled "Building from the Center: Getting the Job...

Klobuchar & Coleman Still Get High Marks

Minnesota DFL Senator Amy Klobuchar continues to garner a strong approval rating—now four months into her tenure as junior senator from the Gopher State. The most recent SurveyUSA April poll found 58 percent of Minnesotans approve of her performance. Only 34 percent disapprove, which means most state residents have...

Senator Tim Johnson: Update

South Dakota senior Senator Tim Johnson remains in an in-patient rehabilitation center in Washington, D.C. as he continues his recovery from the arteriovenous malformation that struck him late last year. Before falling ill, Johnson was already considered one of the few vulnerable Democratic Senators up for reelection in 2008,...

Klobuchar Event: Live Blogging

12:05 pm. Senator Klobuchar opened to a very warm reception. She began by summarizing her achievements in the Senate - being a Junior Whip, passing the Iraq War Resolution, and fighting for ethics reform. Klobuchar has the crowd in the aisles with some colorful personal stories - ranging from her...

Smart Politics Live Blogging at Klobuchar Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live from 12:00-1:30 pm at an event sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance (CSPG) at the Humphrey Institute on Monday, April 2nd. The event will feature Minnesota DFL Senator Amy Klobuchar, who will speak on global warming and renewable energy....

Norm Coleman Maintains Double-Digit Lead Over Al Franken in New Poll

One of the Democratic National Committee's most targeted U.S. Senate seats in 2008 is assuredly the one held by Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman. Thus far Al Franken has emerged as the most prominent candidate to challenge Coleman in the Senator's bid for a second term. The latest public...

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...

Joe Lieberman, Religion, and Iraq

Lost in the headlines of the Democratic Senate's failed attempt last weekend to bust a GOP filibuster to force a floor debate and resolution vote on President George W. Bush's surge in American forces in Iraq is that one member of the Democratic caucus allied himself with the Republican...

Franken Announces Senate Candidacy; Starts 22 Points in the Hole

On Wednesday Al Franken officially announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate—aiming to become the DLF nominee to challenge 1-term Minnesota Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in 2008. As discussed in a February 2, 2007 Smart Politics entry, Franken will have an uphill battle to win both the DFL primary...

Iraq, Coleman, and Minnesotans' Views on the War

Norm Coleman has taken specific measures during the last few months to distinguish himself from his Republican Party that has by and large backed President George W. Bush's efforts in the War in Iraq during the past 3+ years. In January Coleman was quick to relay concerns about the...

Harkin Lashes Out At Bush Iraq War Plan and GOP Colleagues

Characterizing GOP Senate leadership actions earlier in the week as a "Republican effort to stifle debate," Iowa junior Senator Tom Harkin roundly criticized both President George W. Bush's Iraq war plan as well as his Senate Republican colleagues for exercising their procedural rights to prevent a full floor debate...

Coleman 1 of 2 Republicans to Vote for Debate on Senate Iraq Resolution

Democrats fell far short Monday of a filibuster-proof majority to bring a nonbinding resolution on the Iraq war to a full debate on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The resolution would, among its dozen points, state the Senate's disagreement with President George W. Bush's plan to increase the...

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Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


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