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Smart Politics to Live Blog at MN GOP Forum

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Smart Politics will be blogging live today at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. at a program on the state of the Republican Party in Minnesota and conservative movement.

From the Humphrey press release:

The State of Minnesota's Republican Party and Conservative Movement

Tuesday, January 22
Noon—1:30pm
Cowles Auditorium
Humphrey Center
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Steve Sviggum, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
Bill Cooper, former Chair, Minnesota Republican Party
Mary Liz Holberg, member, Minnesota House of Representatives
Jeff Blodgett, Executive Director, Wellstone Action

Does Minnesota's Republican Party remain a vehicle for the conservative movement? What is the defining character of conservatism? These questions are being debated among social conservatives, economic libertarians, and idealistic military hawks in Minnesota and nationally. For instance, Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign may make the GOP competitive in normally safe Democratic regions like the Northeast and the Northwest but it has sparked threats from social conservatives that they will bolt the Party for a third party candidate. Mike Huckabee is backed by social conservatives but faces stiff opposition from economic conservatives who criticize his tax and spending hikes as governor of Arkansas.

An accomplished and prominent panel including, Steve Sviggum, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Bill Cooper, former Chair, Minnesota Republican Party, Representative Mary Liz Holberg, Minnesota House of Representatives, and Jeff Blodgett, Executive Director, Wellstone Action will discuss the current state of Minnesota's Republican Party and conservative movement. Professor Lawrence Jacobs will moderate.

Previous post: The Great Fall of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Campaign
Next post: Live Blog: State of the GOP and Conservatism in Minnesota

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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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