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Unusual Entrances: Clergymen Turned US Senators

North Carolina's Mark Harris is trying to add his name to a list of less than two-dozen members of the clergy who have served in the Senate in U.S. history and only three who were elected to the chamber since the turn of the 19th Century.

Bachmann's Little Secret: Not Fixated on God, Guns, and Gays

Only one percent of the congresswoman's nearly 600 press releases since 2007 have focused on the "3 Gs" collectively, as well as just one percent on abortion.

The 6 Times President Obama Mentioned the Pope

What do Dave Brubeck, Lech Walesa, the Queen of England and Nelson Mandela have in common?

Defense of Abedin, McCain Slow from Senate Colleagues after Bachmann Rebuke

As of mid-day Thursday, no other U.S. Senator has issued a press release defending Huma Abedin after the senior senator from Arizona's impassioned remarks in the chamber Wednesday.

Rick Santorum, Catholicism, and the 2012 Republican Ticket

Republicans have nominated a Catholic just once on the presidential ballot in 152 years, compared to seven times for the Democrats since 1928.

Andre Carson and Keith Ellison Respond to bin Laden Killing

Ellison's relative Twitter silence on the killing of bin Laden is noteworthy insomuch as the congressman had tweeted 14 times over the weekend including six times on Sunday

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

How High Does the U.S. Rank in World Muslim Population?

During the past week, President Barack Obama has made a determined effort to emphasize both the importance of Islam to American culture and history, as well as suggesting Muslims comprise a substantial percentage of the U.S. population. Obama first got into factually murky waters on Monday when, during an interview...

Coleman Says 'God Wants Me to Serve'

While Al Franken remains fairly elusive, Norm Coleman is keeping a high profile these days as his court challenge of the Minnesota U.S. Senate recount plods along. Coleman is adept, somewhat too adept, his critics might say, at skillfully tailoring his message to his audience, and that skill set was...

Live Blog: Faith and Politics

8:15 a.m. The Humphrey Institute's America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention kicks off this morning with a panel discussing 'Faith and Politics.' Moderated by Krista Tippett, Host and Producer of Speaking of Faith, the panelists are Richard Land (President, Ethics and Religious Liberty...

Humphrey Institute to Host Premier Politics & Policy Forum September 1-4

As the Republican National Convention convenes in St. Paul on September 1, the University of Minnesota and the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs is creating the premier forum for independent and respected analysis and commentary during the Convention. America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008...

Why Is Obama Talking About Religion?

Barack Obama's recent comments on religion's problematic role when mixed with government—along with his citation of certain Biblical passages as evidence of this point—have now once again raised the specter of his own religious beliefs. Obama's comments not only renewed his political feud with Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus...

E.J. Dionne to Speak on Politics and Religion at Humphrey Institute

From the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance press release: Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right E.J. Dionne, Jr., columnist, Washington Post, and senior fellow, Brookings Institution Tuesday, April 22, 2008 Noon - 1:15pm Humphrey Forum Hubert H. Humphrey Center 301 19th Ave S....

Obama's Numbers Sinking As Pastor Controversy Continues

As news broke last week in the mainstream media of videotaped statements by Barack Obama's friend and Reverend spouting what most Americans view as radical, racially-fused, anti-American political rhetoric, Obama's lead over Hillary Clinton in national polls for the Democratic presidential nomination began to break as well. One week ago,...

What Will Stop The Huckabee Surge?

While Mike Huckabee's rise to the top of the Republican polls nationwide and in key states (Iowa, South Carolina, and Michigan) appears unstoppable, this, of course, is not the nature of politics. For example, in the 2004 presidential campaign, the rise and the fall of Howard Dean's candidacy were equally...

Joe Lieberman, Religion, and Iraq

Lost in the headlines of the Democratic Senate's failed attempt last weekend to bust a GOP filibuster to force a floor debate and resolution vote on President George W. Bush's surge in American forces in Iraq is that one member of the Democratic caucus allied himself with the Republican...

Religion and Minnesota Politics

The relationship between religion and politics should fascinate even the most casual political observer. (In recent weeks religion has become an interesting sidebar in the 6th District US House race—a matter best saved for another blog entry). Karl Rove—President George W. Bush's trusted political strategist in the White House—is credited...



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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