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Franken and Ciresi Close In Further On Sen. Coleman in New Poll

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In a new poll released today by Rasmussen Reports, Republican Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman now holds 5 and 4-point leads over his chief rivals—Al Franken and Mike Ciresi respectively.

The poll, conducted September 6th of 500 likely voters in the Gopher State, finds Al Franken has closed the gap from a 46-36 deficit in a March 2007 Rasmussen poll to 46-41. Franken is only viewed favorably by 46 percent of Minnesotans, with a very high number (47 percent) already having an unfavorable view of the satirist and actor.

Mike Ciresi trails Coleman 46 to 42 percent and also has higher unfavorable numbers (43 percent) than favorable (40 percent).

Coleman's favorable numbers are actually quite good—54 percent—with 46 percent having an unfavorable view - Minnesotans seemed to have formed an opinion of their senior senator one way or the other. Coleman's problem is that he is unable to reach the 50 percent support mark in election matchups against his DFL rivals despite the high unfavorability rankings of Franken and Ciresi.

In the previous public polling matchups between the candidates (SurveyUSA, July 2007), Coleman had a 49-42 lead on Franken and 48-42 lead over Ciresi.

The new Rasmussen numbers indicate that Minnesota's Senate race remains one of the prized targets for the Democrats in the coming election.

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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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