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DFL Prospects in Ramstad's 3rd CD Open Seat

After Republican U.S. Representative Jim Ramstad announced his retirement Monday, effective at the end of this term (his 9th), the buzz around Minnesota politics was that his open seat would produce a competitive Congressional District race—one that was ripe for the picking for the DFL. And there is data...

Live Blogging at Congressman Ramstad Event

12:00 pm. Jim Ramstad's speech today is entitled "Life as a Centrist in the New Congress." Ramstad has touted his moderate, centrist credentials in recent years, and there is evidence in his voting record to bolster this claim. In 2006, the Republican congressman was rated fairly dead center -- the...

Smart Politics Live Blogging at Congressman Ramstad Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live covering Republican Congressman Jim Ramstad (MN-03) from the Humphrey Institute on Tuesday, August 14th, from Noon to 1:15 pm. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled " "Life as a Centrist in the New Congress" and...

Live Blogging: Congressman Oberstar on Transportation Policy

12:00 p.m. The title of Congressman Jim Oberstar's (MN-08) talk today at the Humphrey Institute is "Transportation Policy and America's Future." Oberstar is the Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, after serving more than a decade as its ranking Democratic member. In part due to the 17-term Congressman's...

Smart Politics Live Blogging at Congressman Oberstar Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live covering Congressman Jim Oberstar's (MN-08) talk at the Humphrey Institute on Monday, June 25th, from Noon to 1:00 pm. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled "Transportation Policy and America's Future," and is the sixth...

Live Blogging: Congressman Keith Ellison Event

9:30 a.m. Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-05) came into the 110th Congress as one of the Democratic Party's new stars (and the only Muslim in the House), despite his predecessor (longtime Congressman Martin Sabo) failing to offer a ringing endorsement during the 2006 campaign. Ellison nabbed a prized seat on the...

Smart Politics Live Blogging at Congressman Keith Ellison Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live covering Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-05) from the Humphrey Institute on Monday, June 11th, from 9:30 - 11:00 am. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled "Leveling the Playing Field for Working Families: Promoting a Consumer Justice...

Live Blog: Rep. Walz Event

10:00 am. Freshman Democratic congressman Tim Walz's (MN-01) talk today is entitled "Tomorrow's Foreign Policy: What We're Teaching Today's Students and Why It Matters." 10:10 am. Walz begins his talk by discussing the importance of opening a line of communication between citizens and the government. He explains how his first...

Smart Politics Live Blogging At Walz Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live from the Humphrey Institute on Thursday, April 12th, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am at Congressman Tim Walz's (MN-01) speech on educating students about U.S. foreign policy. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled "Tomorrow's...

Smart Politics Live Blogging At McCollum Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live from the Humphrey Institute on Monday, April 9th, from Noon to 1:00 pm at Congresswoman Betty McCollum's speech on her recent trip to Afghanistan. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled "American Foreign Policy: A...

Upper Midwest House Delegation Votes 16-6 in Support of Iraq War Resolution

On Friday the U.S. House vote 246-182 for a resolution disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007 to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq. The non-binding measure had near unanimous support from within the Democratic Party, with 229 of 231...

Tim Walz Plays Hardball...and Goes Hitless

On Tuesday afternoon rookie Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz (MN-01) was interviewed by Chris Matthews on MSNBC's political show Hardball. Earlier in the day Walz had spoken multiple times on the floor of the U.S. House supporting a Democrat-backed resolution criticizing President George W. Bush's decision to add more troops...

Upper Midwest Representatives Receive New US House Committee Assignments

Earlier this week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced new Committee assignments for Freshmen members, plus added existing members to new Committees as Democrats increased their membership on Committees with their 30 seat gain in November's election. Starting his 6th term, Ron Kind (WI-03) was assigned to the influential Ways and...

MN-08: An Intriguing Matchup

Minnesota's 8th Congressional District (comprising the northeastern Iron Range counties), is home to one of the more unusual Congressional races this year, in which DFL incumbent James Obserstar, the senior member of Minnesota's US House delegation, is being challenged by Republican Rod Grams, a former US Representative in his own...

MN-02: Rowley Closes Gap

Coleen Rowley, the DFL candidate in Minnesota's 2nd US House district, has closed her deficit to 2-term GOP incumbent John Kline from 20 to 8 points in less than three weeks, according to polls released by SurveyUSA in late September and mid-October. The poll's media sponsor is KSTP-TV Channel...

Upper Midwest US House Races Tighten in GOP Held Districts...But Is a Revolution Afoot?

A recent spate of polls tracking US House races in the Upper Midwest reflect what is perceived by most political analysts to be a nation-wide trend: GOP-held districts that were secure in 2004 now seem to be competitive or near competitive. The GOP leads the current Upper Midwest US House...

US House Redistricting: Iowa Gets Lowest Marks for Proportionality

In the coming year or so states will begin to outline plans for the redistricting process that will go into effect in 2012 after the 2010 Census results. One way to measure the 'success' of these processes is to examine to what extent the proportion of votes cast for...

Third Parties: Minnesota Leads the Pace in US House Races

Minnesota's historical success of placing third party candidates on the ballot usually begins and ends with Jesse Ventura. In a report released earlier this summer, the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance also showed Ventura's legacy in sustaining third party success in the state. 'Success' is, of course,...

Blue Dog Democrats Well Represented in Upper Midwest

The Blue Dog Democrats, though a dying breed, have a fair-sized delegation from the Upper Midwest. The Blue Dog coalition (originally formed in 1995) is a group of 37 conservative and moderate democrats who are seen as serious players in the policy arena due to frequently being swing votes. While...

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Political Crumbs

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).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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