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Governorships


Which States Produce the Most Governors?

New York has given birth to 116 future governors of other states, or 1 for every 1.9 years since statehood; South Carolina leads the nation with 88 percent of its governors 'home-grown'

Will Minnesota Have the Most Competitive Gubernatorial Race in the Nation for the 2nd Consecutive Election Cycle?

Gopher State could follow the nation's closest gubernatorial race in 2006 and closest Senate race in 2008 with another nail-biter in 2010

Which States Have the Most Living Ex-Governors?

250 ex-governors are still living in the United States; New Jersey has five times more living former governors (10) than Connecticut and Wyoming (2)

The Ones That Got Away: Minnesota-Born Politicians Who Have Governed Other States

Nearly as many Minnesota-born politicians have served as governor elsewhere (11) as in the Gopher State (14)

Inside Tim Pawlenty's Uniquely Polarizing Job Approval Numbers

Pawlenty one of only a few governors nationwide to notch both large pools of staunch supporters and detractors in his constituency

Roxanne Conlin Poised to Hold Iowa U.S. Senate, Gubernatorial Records

Conlin is only the second female major party candidate to appear on a U.S. Senate general election ballot in Iowa and the 9th woman overall

Will Minnesotans Elect a Plurality-Winning Governor for a 4th Straight Cycle?

Only one other state has elected plurality-winning governors into office four times in a row since World War II (Alaska); Minnesota has not done so in 114 years

That Was Then, This Is Now: What (Political) Life Looked Like the Last Time Minnesota Elected a DFLer Governor

Do you remember when the cost of a postage stamp was 22 cents?

Is Military Experience No Longer Valued in Minnesota Gubernatorial Elections?

Prior to Tim Pawlenty, 10 of the previous 14 Minnesota governors had military service; Minnesotans elected veterans in 16 of 19 gubernatorial elections from 1944-1998

Out with the Old and In with the Older: Ex-Governors Have Historically Good Odds in Comeback Bids

Former governors have won 63 percent of open races in comeback campaigns and 57 percent overall since WWII; five ex-governors to be on the ballot in 2010

Remembering the Historic Gubernatorial Class of 2002

25 candidates were elected governor for the first time in 2002, the largest number since WWII; record could be eclipsed in 2010

How Does Tim Pawlenty Rank in the Gubernatorial Class of 2002 on Jobs?

Minnesota Governor has presided over 64.4 percent increase in unemployment, slightly better than his gubernatorial Class of '02 as well as the national average

Long Legislative Service Not a Prescription for Gubernatorial Electoral Success in Minnesota

Only one Minnesota Governor since statehood has spent as much time in the legislature as 2010 DFL candidates Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Matt Entenza

Will Voter ID Issue Turn Conservative Democrats Into 'Emmercrats' in MN Gubernatorial Race?

Emmer continues to highlight voter ID as core issue to 2010 campaign; popular issue may be the lure to get conservative Democrats onto his coalition's hook

Will Margaret Anderson Kelliher Break the Upper Midwestern Glass Ceiling?

Just 17 women have appeared on the gubernatorial ballot in 257 elections across Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; only 2 from major political parties

How High Will the GOP (Tidal) Wave Be When It Hits Minnesota in November?

All signs point to GOP momentum in states across each of Minnesota's borders

Will Minnesotans Elect a Catholic Governor in 2010?

Only one Catholic has ever been elected Governor in Minnesota history; Seifert, Emmer, Kelliher, Rukavina, Thissen among 2010 Catholic gubernatorial candidates

Will Minnesotans Elect Another Lawyer to the Governor's Mansion in 2010?

Pawlenty was first Gopher State Governor elected with a law degree since 1974; from 1910-1974, 90 percent of elected governors had a legal education

Will the DFL Cancel Minnesota's Membership to the 'Lonely Republican Governors Club' in 2010?

Minnesota could emerge from Election 2010 as one of just two states in the nation with a Republican governor and Democratic-led delegations to the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, State Senate, and State House

Tim Pawlenty Job Approval Rating Hits All-Time Low

Analysis of over 70 polls since 2003 finds Pawlenty's current job approval rating lowest in 7+ years in office

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Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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