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Governorships


Rybak Hopes to Revive the Gopher State Tradition of Journalist-Turned-Governor

Rybak seeks to become the first Minnesota governor in over 80 years with a newspaper background

Does R.T. Rybak Have an Outstate Minnesota Problem?

Lack of statewide political experience and (proportional) decline of Minneapolis' statewide population base present two challenges for the Mayor

Pawlenty Unflappable Amid Press Corps Accusations that 2012 Aspirations Hindering His Ability to Govern During Budget Crisis

Governor is adamant that, despite rumored political aspirations or busy travel schedule, there is "no work in his office or administration that is left undone"

Is Norm Coleman Truly the GOP Preference for Its 2010 Gubernatorial Nominee?

Early poll, though omitting candidates, suggests Coleman's wait-and-see approach is working

What Do the New Jersey and Virginia Gubernatorial Elections Mean? (And Are They Predictors of Midterms?)

The two states have voted in tandum during the last five gubernatorial elections dating back to 1989 - and always electing the party which is not in control of the White House

Pathway to the Governor's Mansion in Minnesota, Part IV: Age

Current crop of 2010 gubernatorial candidates is more 'seasoned' than Gopher State governors throughout history

Pathway to the Governor's Mansion in Minnesota, Part III: Ethnic Heritage

Or, the end of Scandinavian dominance

When Will Minnesota (or Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota...) Elect a Woman as Governor?

After holding more than 300 gubernatorial elections across the Upper Midwest during the past 160+ years, the region has yet to elect its first female governor

Pathway to the Governor's Mansion in Minnesota, Part II: Where Are Political Careers Launched?

Only 14 of Minnesota's 38 governors were born in the Gopher State

Pathway to the Governor's Mansion in Minnesota, Part I: Political Experience

Overall, 79 percent of Minnesota's governors (30 of 38) had some form of state government experience before becoming governor

Absence Does Not Make the Heart Grow Fonder: Pawlenty Disapproval Rating Reaches All-Time High

Pawlenty's periodic absences from a state decidedly not out of the woods of its economic and budget crises may be causing the Governor's popularity to be taking a hit

Iowa Unemployment Soars at Historic Rate; Governor Culver's Rating Hits Record Low

Chet Culver has seen his job approval ratings drop 37 percent from December 2008 to August 2009

Minnesotans Still Divided Over Pawlenty; Culver and Doyle Ratings in 30s

While residents of Iowa and Wisconsin are speaking in loud, disapproving voices over the performance of their respective Democratic governors, Minnesotans are still basically split down the middle over how they rate the performance of Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty. The latest SurveyUSA poll of 600 Minnesota residents, conducted August 26-27,...

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...

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Political Crumbs

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.


Two Dakotas, One Voice?

For each of the last 24 presidential elections since 1920, North and South Dakota have voted in unison - casting their ballots for the same nominee. For 21 of these cycles (including each of the last 12 since 1968) Republicans carried the Dakotas with just three cycles going to the Democrats (1932, 1936, and 1964). This streak stands in contrast to the first few decades after statehood when North and South Dakota supported different nominees in four of the first seven cycles. North Dakota narrowly backed Populist James Weaver in 1892 while South Dakota voted for incumbent Republican Benjamin Harrison. In 1896, it was North Dakota backing GOPer William McKinley while South Dakota supported Democrat William Jennings Bryan by less than 200 votes. North Dakota voted Democratic in 1912 and 1916 supporting Woodrow Wilson while South Dakota cast its Electoral College votes for Progressive Teddy Roosevelt and Republican Charles Hughes respectively.


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