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Smart Politics
 


November 2006


Presence and Impact of Third Party Candidates in MN House Races Declining

For a number of years State House races in Minnesota were peppered with a significant number of third party or independent candidates. In 2006, however, the presence of these non-major party candidates was the lowest in a decade. In 1998 there were 18 non-major party candidates on the ballot in...

Minnesota State Legislative Recount Update

Nearly one in five state house races in Minnesota (22 of 134, 16%) were decided by five percentage points or less in the 2006 Election. On November 21st, Minnesota Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer ordered recounts in three of the most closely decided districts. Republicans currently control each of these...

Wisconsin State Legislative Recount Summary

November's state legislative races yielded a number of very close contests across the Upper Midwest. As a result recounts have commenced in a handful of districts, including four races for Wisconsin's State Assembly where Democrats narrowed a 58-39 GOP advantage to 52-47 going into the recounts. Four recounts were ordered...

A Tale of (Two?) States: Demographic Support for Republican Gubernatorial Candidates in MN and WI Strikingly Similar

The 2006 gubernatorial races in Minnesota and Wisconsin had key similarities: 1-term incumbents defending their seats with job approval rankings hovering around 50%. Pundits viewed seats in both states to be very vulnerable. Despite these similarities, the candidacies of Republican challenger Mark Green in Wisconsin and GOP incumbent Tim Pawlenty...

Gubernatorial Approval Ratings Rise Noticeably After Elections

Approval ratings for all four Upper Midwest governors rose noticeably in polls conducted by SurveyUSA directly after Election Day (November 8-11). All three incumbent governors on the ballot in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota were victorious, and the Democrats retained control of the Iowa executive branch with Chet Culver replacing...

Minnesota State Senate Election Analysis: DFL Thoroughly Dominates Republicans

The DFL expanded its lead in the Minnesota State Senate from 38-29 to 44-23, after picking up eight seats and giving back two in this month's election. The DFL has now not only nearly doubled the number of GOP seats in the Senate, but has also more strongly situated itself...

Many Familiar Faces To Depart Capitol Hill After '06 Election

The anti-GOP wave that struck D.C. two weeks ago resulted in 22 Republican U.S. House incumbents being given their 2-month notice. This turnover, while quite high by historical standards, is perhaps not as remarkable as the fact that most of these incumbents had served their districts for a decade or...

GOP Struggling to Find Opportunities for Pickups in U.S. House Races

Yesterday's blog entry detailed how the Democratic Party has become increasingly competitive on a number of dimensions in challenging GOP-held U.S. House districts from 2002 to 2006. Today Smart Politics examines how Republicans have fared along these same measures—is the GOP becoming more or less competitive in Democratic-held districts? Overall,...

Seeds for Democratic Gains In U.S. House Actually Planted in 2004

Even though Democrats lost seats in the U.S. House in 2004, there are several indicators in that election that suggest their Party was making inroads to be more competitive with Republicans—inroads that paid off in a big way in 2006. Trends in several measures of party competitiveness were already working...

Reader Request: Should Mike Hatch Have Better Utilized Keith Ellison in His Campaign?

The latest suggested topic from the Smart Politics Mailbox poses the following query in the wake of the Minnesota Gubernatorial race: should Mike Hatch have distanced himself like he did from fellow DFL 5th Congressional District victor Keith Ellison? Did Hatch's failure to endorse Ellison signify a lack of outreach...

Support for Third Parties Declining in U.S. House Races

A Smart Politics analysis of 2006 election results finds support for third parties continuing to drop—for the second straight election cycle since 2002. In 2006, 2.25 percent of votes for U.S. House candidates went to third parties, compared to 2.37 percent in 2004 and 3.03 percent in 2002. In 2006...

U.S. House: GOP Losses Could Have Been Far Worse

The headline in the battle for the U.S. House on Wednesday morning was how the Democrats not only took control from Republicans, but also gained an impressive 29 seats (up to a half-dozen races across the country are still classified as too close to call). But what has been overlooked...

Smart Politics Scorecard, Part II: State Legislative Roundup

The Democratic party scored big wins across Upper Midwest state legislatures on Tuesday night. As projected here at Smart Politics, the Democrats picked up seats in all 8 chambers and took control of three of them: the Iowa House, Wisconsin Senate, and Minnesota House. Some democratic pickups - particularly in...

The Day After: Smart Politics Scorecard, Part I

In the coming days Smart Politics will have extended coverage of the 2006 state and federal election results. In this morning's summary entry, we can report the following results on Smart Politics' scorecard for its projections in federal and gubernatorial races: Governor: 100% (4 for 4) U.S. Senate: 100% (2...

Upper Midwest State Legislative Projections

The last in a series of election projections, Smart Politics predicts which political party will win control of state legislatures across the Upper Midwest. Democrats are in an advantaged position in most states in each legislative chamber to pick up seats, based on the GOP needing to protect a higher...

Minnesota Poll Roundup and Smart Politics Projections

Minnesota looks like it will host several close races Tuesday night—with at least 2 U.S. House races attracting attention as well as a very tight gubernatorial race. Today Smart Politics presents the fourth in a series of analyses and projections of major races across the Upper Midwest with the...

Wisconsin Poll Roundup and Smart Politics Projections

Only 1 of 9 races for federal office in the Badger state in 2006 is considered a true 'toss-up': the 8th Congressional district race. But the state does offer a high-profile gubernatorial matchup…plus all those other federal races are just full of 'fun-facts'… WI Governor: One-term incumbent Jim Doyle...

South Dakota Poll Roundup and Smart Politics Projections

Heading into the weekend, Smart Politics plays it close to the vest in deciding to present South Dakota in the second of its Upper Midwest election summaries for the key battles in the Upper Midwest. With incumbents expected by everyone to hold serve in that state, the real challenge...

Iowa Poll Roundup and Smart Politics Projections

Poll watchers are getting their fix this week with dozens of poll results released each day. For those who don't have the time to track down all of the individual poll results, Smart Politics offers the first of four race summaries and projections for the key battles in the...

Klobuchar Builds Lead Over Kennedy In Latest Humphrey Poll

In the five weeks since the last Humphrey Institute survey, DFL nominee for Senate Amy Klobuchar has increased her lead from 52-36 to 55-33 over GOP nominee Mark Kennedy. While this 22-point lead is 3 to 7 points larger than what most polls have reported during the past month,...