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Pawlenty Wins Minor Battle in Fight Against Illegal Immigration

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The DFL dropped provisions from a higher education bill—passed by the House and Senate—that would have allowed children of illegal immigrants in Minnesota to qualify for in-state tuition.

The inclusion of the so-called "DREAM Act" would assuredly have been met with a veto from Governor Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty had expressed his opposition to the DREAM Act on several occasions, frequently threatening to veto the entire bill if it included such a provision.

Pawlenty—considered a moderate Republican by most political observers—has taken a fairly hard line on issues dealing with illegal immigration during the past year. In July 2006, the Governor demonstrated his support for more enforcement of the US-Mexican border by pledging up to 200 Minnesota National Guard troops to be sent to the border under the border protection program outlined by President Bush.

In late September 2006, Pawlenty stated his support for photo-ID requirements at polling booths to prevent illegal immigrants from voting. The Governor also directed the Department of Public Safety to search the state voter registration database for names on a list of noncitizens' driver's licenses or other state ID cards.

Although Pawlenty is characterized above as taking a 'hard line' stance on illegal immigration, the Governor's views on this issue are actually in step with a majority of his constituents, as well as the country as a whole. Minnesotans—like residents of most states—are overwhelming in favor of most measures that aim to reduce illegal immigration to this country.

For example, a January 2006 Rasmussen poll found 59 percent of Gopher State residents supported the building of a barrier along the U.S.-Mexican border, with only 26 percent in opposition. That survey also found likely voters tended to agree with Pawlenty's views on immigration at nearly a 2:1 clip over those who disagreed with him (although a substantial number of Minnesotans (40 percent) were not sure or were not aware of Pawlenty's views).

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Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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