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Smart Politics
 


July 2008


Will Barack Obama Ever Appear On ‘The O’Reilly Factor’?

As popular television commentator and host Bill O’Reilly has pointed out on a near daily basis, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has yet to appear on his program, despite numerous on-air (and presumably private) invitations. Should Obama make the pilgrimage to ‘The Factor?’ O’Reilly has led in the cable television...

Ted Stevens Indictment Boosts Odds of 1st Democratic Senate Victory in Alaska Since 1974

Today's indictment of Alaska Republican Senator Ted Stevens on seven felony counts of concealing gifts from lobbyists makes one of the Democratic Party's prime U.S. Senate targets that much closer to a pick-up in November. Stevens surprised many by announcing he would run for a 7th term, despite an ongoing...

Will the GOP Make Gains in the Minnesota House?

When the DFL swept its way into control of the Minnesota House in the 2006 election, some Republican officeholders and officials partially attributed the DFL 19-seat net gain to having all the cards fall just right for the DFL – that they won all the close races. House Minority Leader...

Minnesota Home to Increasing Number of Self-Identified Democrats

A Smart Politics study of the partisan leanings of Minnesota residents finds that the percentage of self-identified Democrats has increased nearly 30 percent since 2005. While the percentage of self-identified Republicans has dropped, it seems the Democratic Party is increasing its numbers largely from converting independents to its side. Smart...

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Will Obama Perform Stronger in Wisconsin Than in Minnesota? Don’t Count On It

A new poll by Quinnipiac University of more than 1,000 likely voters in both Minnesota and Wisconsin was released Thursday with a surprising headline: Barack Obama led John McCain by just 2 points in the Gopher State (46 to 44 percent) but had an 11-point advantage over the Arizona Senator...

How Blue Is Minnesota? Not 7 U.S. House Seats Blue

Tim Walz’s pick-up of the Gopher State’s 1st Congressional District in 2006 buoyed hopes for the DFL of a decisive bluish trend among voters for its U.S. House candidates in the coming years. Walz’s victory surprised many pundits, even in an election year that was expecting several Democratic pick-ups across...

18 is Enough: South Dakota Democratic Senators and the Third Term Curse

South Dakota Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Johnson was once thought to be one of the few potential targets for a GOP pick-up in the 2008 election. Johnson had won his first two elections to the Senate by a total of 9,111 votes, including a 532-vote squeaker in 2002 against current...

US House Snapshot: Republicans Brace for More Losses

Media coverage of the 2008 election is rightly centered at the moment on the fascinating 2008 presidential race; any remaining coverage seems to be focused on the U.S. Senate – and whether or not the Democrats can turn in a miraculous performance in 2008 to achieve a filibuster-proof majority, as...

Smart Politics Study: Independence Party Need Make No Apologies to the DFL

The DFL has pointed to the Independence Party gubernatorial candidacies of Peter Hutchinson (2006) and Tim Penny (2002) as part of the reason for Republican Tim Pawlenty's two plurality wins in the Gopher State. The fear, among the DFL, is that the Independence Party is not so much bringing...

Will 2008 Be the Year of the Libertarian?

Although the impact of the Libertarian Party in presidential elections has been muted since first appearing on the ballot in 1972, the expectations for the Party are high in 2008. This election cycle, the LP has nominated its most high profile candidate to date – former Georgia Republican Representative...

MN State House: Independence Party Stops the Bleeding

The Independence Party has stopped the bleeding. After leaving a major footprint on Minnesota State House races in the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections, the number of IP candidates on the ballot greatly declined in 2006 to just nine districts. At the time of the close of Tuesday’s filing deadline,...

MN Senate: Ventura Out, Barkley In, Coleman & Franken Split in Two New Polls

As Jesse Ventura announced he would not challenge Norm Coleman in the 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate race, two new polls were released revealing vastly different results. Ventura, before Larry King’s national audience on CNN, stated he would not seek Coleman’s Senate seat, giving a variety of reasons along the...

Rasmussen Poll: Obama Up Big in MN, IA, Competitive in the Dakotas

Barack Obama is looking to become the first Democratic candidate to sweep the Upper Midwest since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. New polling by Rasmussen indicates Obama is currently competitive enough in the Dakotas to have a chance at doing just that. In South Dakota, a survey of 500 likely...

Wisconsin Assembly Poised to Flip to Democratic Control

The filing deadline for candidacy papers closed last week in Madison and Democrats, who took control of the state Senate in 2006, appear poised to do the same in the Assembly in 2008. Republicans will face an uphill battle holding onto their current 5-seat majority in the lower legislative chamber...

Obama Maintains Double-Digit Lead in Wisconsin

A new Rasmussen survey of 500 likely voters in Wisconsin finds Barack Obama maintaining a substantial lead over John McCain. The Rasmussen poll measures Obama’s advantage over McCain at 11 points – 50 to 39 percent. These results are in line with the three previous Wisconsin surveys conducted during the...

Ralph Nader and The Matrix Trilogy

When I was on Sirius Satellite Radio’s “The Blog Bunker? yesterday I was asked how the Democratic-led U.S. Senate approval of the latest FISA legislation would have on the presidential election – and whether the left wing of the party would feel betrayed (by Barack Obama’s support of the...

Smart Politics On "The Blog Bunker" Today

Smart Politics' Eric Ostermeier will be a guest on Sirius Satellite Radio's "The Blog Bunker" program this afternoon. The lively political talk program, hosted by Joe Salzone, broadcasts from 4pm - 5pm CST on Indie Talk 110....

Obama Making Inroads in Deep Red States, Lagging in Reddish-Purple States

In the 2004 presidential election, George W. Bush won 31 states while John Kerry won 19 plus the District of Columbia. According to the most recent public opinion polls, Barack Obama is currently in a strong position to win all of the “Kerry states? and is running strong enough in...

CSPG Report: The Third Party Impact in 2008

The Center for the Study of Politics and Governance has released a report studying the potential impact third parties may have on the 2008 presidential race. From the report: "Third parties may determine the outcome of the 2008 presidential contest between the presumptive Democratic and Republican Party candidates, Senator Barack...

Democrats in Best Position to Take Control of SD Senate Since 1992

While Democrats have been able to win statewide elections in South Dakota in recent years (Tim Johnson, Tom Daschle, Stephanie Herseth), Republicans have thoroughly dominated district races for the state legislature. Since 1960, Democrats have only eked out a tie in the House (1972) and have controlled the Senate after...

Battleground States Through the Lens of the U.S. Senate

What makes a battleground state a battleground state? For one, obviously, presidential races decided by narrow victory margins. But another way is to examine how a state has voted in other statewide elections. Does a state tend to only elect Democrats, only Republicans, or a mixture? The most widely circulated...