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Economy and jobs


Through the Dark-Colored Lenses of Mark Dayton

"Death," "dead end," "decline" and "grim future" were but a few of the words and phrases Minnesota's governor used to frame the problems of his state and country.

Minnesota Labor Force Participation Rate Reaches 29-Year Low

The last time the labor force participation rate was this low in the Gopher State was July 1983.

Will Mitt Romney Win the Battle for the Middle Class?

The former Massachusetts governor has discussed middle class Americans in debates more than all other candidates combined.

Right-to-Work: Red Meat in Red States?

17 of the nation's 22 right-to-work states were carried by John McCain.

All-Star Special: Will Baseball Fans Be Obama's Secret Weapon in 2012?

The real cost of baseball tickets, souvenirs, hot dogs, and beer have all dropped since Barack Obama took office.

Obama Under Fire: Who Launched the Most Attacks at the President during the New Hampshire Debate?

Mitt Romney landed the most jabs at Obama among the seven candidates; Herman Cain and Ron Paul, meanwhile, pulled the most punches.

North Dakota Sets Modern Day Record for State's Largest Monthly Dip in Unemployment

North Dakota's -8.3 percent monthly decline in unemployment from March to April is its largest drop over the past 35+ years

Minnesota Unemployment Rate Falls Extending 3rd Longest Streak in the Nation

Only North Dakota and Vermont have gone longer without a jobless rate uptick

How High Is Too High? Unemployment and the 2012 Presidential Race

Ronald Reagan got reelected in a landslide in 1984 with an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent, while George H.W. Bush was defeated in 1992 with a nearly identical 7.4 percent rate

U.S.-Wisconsin Unemployment Rate Differential at Largest Mark in 17 Years

Not since 1993 has Wisconsin's jobless rate been 2.2 points lower than that of the nation overall

South Dakota Continues Record Unemployment Streak, Despite Uptick to 4.5 Percent

The Mount Rushmore State has now gone more than 27 years without eclipsing the 5 percent jobless mark - best in the nation

Minnesota Unemployment Numbers and Trends at a Glance

Gopher State job data trend lines generally favorable compared to the nation and the Upper Midwest region

Do Higher Minimum Wage Laws Contribute to Increased Unemployment?

States with a higher minimum wage than the federal $7.25 requirement have an average 2-point higher unemployment rate than the rest of the country

Minnesota-U.S. Unemployment Gap Reaches Historic Level

April's 2.7-point unemployment rate difference in Minnesota's favor vis-à-vis the national average is the largest in decades

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

Counting One's Blessings: Minnesota's New Unemployment Numbers

Minnesota is one of only four states nationwide which has not experienced a rise in unemployment in any month since May 2009

Minnesota Has Lowest Rate of Increase in Unemployment in Nation During Obama's First Year in Office

Gopher State shed the fewest jobs across the country with just a 1.4 percent net rise in its jobless rate from January 2009-January 2010; 50-state average is +25.5 percent

The Pessimistic Purple: Why Are Voters in Swing States the Most Discontented?

Analysis of Rasmussen polling finds purple state residents have the most dire outlook about their financial situation and the war on terrorism; red state residents are the most optimistic

A Content Analysis of Governor Pawlenty's 2010 State of the State Address

Governor's focus on jobs in speech up more than threefold from 2009 Address despite yearly drop in unemployment

Wisconsin-Minnesota Unemployment Gap Biggest in 22+ Years

Badger State continues to endure biggest jobs crisis in the Upper Midwest during current recession

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Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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