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How to Save Minnesota's U.S. House Seat: More Teenage Mothers?

Last month Smart Politics examined the political impact on the state of Minnesota should it lose one U.S. House seat as projected by many analysts, including a recent report issued by Election Data Services. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data detailing the teenage...

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

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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