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Governorships


Will Minnesota and Wisconsin Elect Governors from the Same Political Party in 2010?

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle's official announcement on Monday that he would not be seeking a third term created not only a newfound battle for the Democratic nomination, but also a scenario whereby the Badger and Gopher States will both have open gubernatorial races on the Election Day ballot for...

Can the DFL End Its Gubernatorial Drought?

With House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher's announcement that she is now officially in the 2010 gubernatorial race, the DFL adds yet another hopeful face to end a near quarter-century drought since the party last won the prized statewide office in 1986. However, as elusive as the governor's mansion has been...

Pawlenty on the Rebound? Governor's Approval Rating Reaches Highest Mark in 2009

Now more than two months removed from a brutal budget battle with the DFL, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has seen his approval numbers rise to its highest level this year, according to SurveyUSA's latest 'snapshot in time.' Pawlenty's approval rating for the month of July increased six points from June...

26 Days and Counting: Why Norm Coleman Isn't Talking 2010

When former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman ended his 2008 election battle last month, he surprised many journalists by answering the inevitable question about whether he would run for governor with a more detailed answer than expected. Coleman first stated on June 30th that he would leave decisions as to his...

What Will Be the 'Obama Effect' on the 2010 Minnesota Gubernatorial Race?

The recent news of Barack Obama's sliding approval ratings across key battleground states (e.g. Ohio, Virginia) as well as the nation (e.g. Gallup, Rasmussen) has raised the question as to what effect a potentially less popular (if not unpopular) President Obama will have on key statewide and Congressional contests during...

Why Doesn't Amy Klobuchar Run for Governor?

Despite overwhelming success in federal and state elections during the past few decades, the DFL may have missed its best chances (in 1998, 2006) to win a gubernatorial election in the Gopher State. Excluding gubernatorial contests, the DFL has won 72 percent of statewide elections (21 of 29) since the...

Pawlenty Unallotment Strategy, Decision Not to Run in 2010 Have Little Impact on Approval Ratings

Just as Tim Pawlenty's announcement that he would use an unallotment strategy to resolve the state's budget crisis had little impact on his approval ratings in late May, his decision to not seek a third term as Minnesota's Governor also seems to have had little impact on his approval ratings...

How Do We Judge Governor Pawlenty's Political Legacy?

As Tim Pawlenty completes the remaining 18+ months of his second term, before venturing into (politically or financially) greener pastures, he has vowed to "Continue to spend every day doing what's right for them. Minnesota will get my very best until I'm done. There is much important and difficult work...

From T-Paw to J-Ram: Is Jim Ramstad the GOP's Answer in 2010?

Tim Pawlenty's decision Tuesday not to seek an unprecedented third 4-year term as Governor of the Gopher State not only emboldened the candidacies of the long list of DFLers already on the campaign trail, but also raised the issue as to what type of candidate the Republican Party should run...

Governor Pawlenty: Good for Minnesota Twins Baseball?

While Tim Pawlenty struggles to deal with soaring budget deficits and historic rates in the increase of unemployment statewide, there is at least one positive issue he can take to the electorate should he seek an unprecedented third four-year term as Governor of the Gopher State: a vote for Pawlenty...

Pawlenty Delivers on Veto Pledge; Override Season Opens

Governor Tim Pawlenty's veto this weekend of a legislative bill (HF 885, SF 681) that would raise approximately $1 billion in revenue through income and alcohol taxes and a surtax on credit card companies, marked the official opening of Override Season this spring. The bill was actually the fourth veto...

Pawlenty Disapproval Rating Rises For 5th Straight Month in SurveyUSA Polling

A few days ago, Smart Politics went into great detail to explain why the latest Star Tribune poll results did not provide persuasive evidence that Governor Tim Pawlenty was flirting with danger in terms of his statewide approval rating. That poll found Pawlenty with a +12 net approval rating -...

Why Governor Pawlenty Is Not in the 'Danger Zone'

The headline from the latest Star Tribune Minnesota Poll results released on Thursday morning reads: "Pawlenty's popularity loses some luster, edging toward 'danger zone'" The new poll measured Pawlenty's approval rating at 48 percent in the Gopher State, which the Star Tribune writes, "is lower than it has ever been."...

Pawlenty's Political Future: When Will We Know?

Although taxes and vetoes are the talk of the town today, reporters at the State Capitol would still like to know the answer to the question: "When is Governor Tim Pawlenty going to announce his future political plans?" Most analysts and pundits, homegrown and in D.C., have come to the...

Pawlenty Approval Rating Defies National Trend; Eclipses 50 Percent Mark Once Again

The 45th SurveyUSA poll measuring Minnesotans' approval of Tim Pawlenty's job performance finds the Republican Governor back once again in familiar, positive territory. Last month, for only the 6th time in 45 SurveyUSA polls, Pawlenty fell below the 50 percent mark at 48 percent. But in the latest poll, conducted...

Pawlenty Approval Rating Sinks to Lowest Level Since October 2006

Perhaps it is due to the Governor presiding over record spikes in unemployment statewide. Perhaps it is the Governor's stated opposition to the federal stimulus legislation that landed Minnesota billions of dollars. Or perhaps the Governor is losing his public relations battle with the DFL leadership in St. Paul over...

Governor Doyle Would Make History By Winning 3rd Term

Just like Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty would make history in the Gopher State if he won a third term (making him the longest ever serving Governor in the state), Governor Jim Doyle would also make history in Wisconsin if he should run and win a third term. A successful...

Why Governor Pawlenty's Criticism of the Federal Stimulus Bill Is Smart Politics

A recent article at MinnPost explores how Governor Tim Pawlenty is out of step with many state leaders, and governors across the nation, in taking a "hands-off" approach when it comes to lobbying lawmakers on Capitol Hill to pass federal stimulus legislation. Pawlenty has not always been shy when it...

Pawlenty Approval Rating Stable Through Good Times and Bad

Even though Minnesota is experiencing unprecedented month-to-month increases in unemployment and a $5 billion budget deficit, Governor Tim Pawlenty's political stock has not (yet) been devalued in the Gopher State. A Smart Politics analysis of more than 5-dozen public opinion polls conducted throughout his one and a half terms in...

Pawlenty Invokes Obama and Displays Fancy Footwork On Tax Policy in Budget Presentation

Governor Tim Pawlenty's discussion on the role tax policy should play in the upcoming budget battle during Tuesday afternoon's budget presentation was a near masterful display of how combining the bob and weave with an occasional jab can make a seasoned fighter stay in the ring for many rounds...

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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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