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Smart Politics
 


September 2008


Election Profile: South Dakota U.S. House (At-large) (2008)

Smart Politics is running a series of election profiles of all the Upper Midwestern U.S. Senate and U.S. House races leading up to the November 4th elections. The series will culminate with Smart Politics' official projections. The first in the series is South Dakota's at-large U.S. House race. Candidates: Democrat:...

Upper Midwestern House Delegation Split in Support of Financial Industry Bailout Bill

The rejection by the U.S. House today of the $700 billion financial industry bailout package was the result of a stranglely-cobbled coalition of conservative Republicans, blue-dog Democrats, and liberal Democrats. The bill, backed by President George W. Bush, eventually won the support of just 205 Representatives, with 228 voting ‘nay.’...

Weekend Upper Midwestern Presidential Poll Roundup

The nearly uniform surge enjoyed by Barack Obama in the national polls over John McCain this past week has so far only translated into a bump in the polls in the Upper Midwest in the state of Wisconsin, with his narrow advantage in Minnesota and larger advantage in Iowa remaining...

Economic Concerns Nothing New to Upper Midwesterners

While sometimes it is difficult to get Democrats and Republicans to agree on anything, the economic concerns facing the nation are at the forefront of the minds of the electorate for both major political parties in the Upper Midwest and across the country. In fact, public opinion has not been...

Commentary: Race and the 2008 Presidential Election

‘Entitlement politics’ appears to be the theme of the 2008 presidential campaign on the Democratic side of the ballot. It began when Hillary Clinton got pegged with the label, running for President out of the gate with a swagger that made her seem like she was the ‘inevitable’ Democratic...

Dean Barkley Trying to Make History in MN U.S. Senate Race

A new Rasmussen poll of the high profile U.S.Senate race in Minnesota was released today with some surprising resuts, as Norm Coleman (48 percent) and Al Franken (47 percent) amassed 95 percent of the support of the 500 likely voters surveyed. ‘Suprising,’ that is, as the 3 percent support Rasmussen...

Upper Midwestern Presidential Poll Roundup

A deluge of public opinion polls has surfaced during the past week gauging voter preferences in the presidential race, particularly in the Upper Midwest – home to three of the nation’s classic battleground states. In Minnesota, the three latest polls tell a similar story: John McCain has narrowed the double-digit...

MN U.S. Senate Elections Historically Uncompetitive in Presidential Election Years

A Smart Politics study of the 22 U.S. Senate races held in the Gopher State since the union of the Democratic and Farmer-Labor parties in 1944 finds Senate contests held during presidential election years to be less competitive than those held in off years. Since 1944, there have been 10...

Why Isn’t Dean Barkley Derailing Al Franken's Candidacy?

The first two polls released since Dean Barkley won the Independence Party primary last week still show a very close race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken, with Barkley receiving 13 percent (Minnesota Poll) and 14 percent (SurveyUSA) support among likely voters. While Barkley’s numbers are up about 6 points...

McCain in 2008 Well Ahead of Bush’s 2004 Pace in Minnesota

The new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll of the presidential race finds John McCain performing markedly better than George W. Bush did in the Gopher State in nearly identical surveys conducted four years apart. In the new Strib survey, conducted September 10-12 of 1,106 likely voters, McCain is tied with Barack...

McCain Makes Big Gains in South Dakota

Continuing the bounce polls indicate he is experiencing in most states West of the Mississippi, John McCain now holds a 17-point advantage in South Dakota, 54 to 37 percent, according to a September 9th Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters. Back in July, a Rasmussen survey had McCain up by...

Why Don’t Democrats Nominate Westerners?

The “Sarah Palin effect" has been felt, at least for the moment, across national and state polls. John McCain’s numbers are looking particularly strong in Western states, the region from which he and Palin hail. For example, in polls conduct in the past week, McCain is up: · 25 points...

Libertarian Ballot Option On the Rise in Wisconsin

Whether it is because the Libertarian Party has a well-known nominee in the Presidential race in Bob Barr (though not necessarily well-regarded in Libertarian leadership circles), whether it is because the Libertarian base has been fired up due to the successful candidacy of Ron Paul, or whether it is...

McCain / Palin Bounce Boosting Republicans Down the Ballot

Whether it is the recency effect of the Republican National Convention, the personal narrative of the second half of John McCain’s acceptance speech, or, as suspected by Smart Politics, the selection of Sarah Palin to be McCain’s running mate, the McCain bounce which has been demonstrated nationally as well as...

What Will We Learn From the Minnesota U.S. Senate Primaries?

As several polls show a tight race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken heading into the Minnesota U.S. Senate primary, the campaigns – and the media – will be looking for clues as to which candidate is in the stronger position coming out of the primaries heading into the home...

Eight Debate Questions Sarah Palin Does Not Want Asked of Her

Democrats and Barack Obama supporters made the grave mistake of attacking the experience (and competence) of GOP Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin too soon out of the gate last week. Beginning just a few days after McCain’s announcement that Palin would be his running mate, the left (and some in...

Live Blog: Moving Forward On Health Care Reform

2:25 p.m. "Moving Forward On Health Care Reform" is the final panel at the Humphrey Institute's four-day series of forums entitled, America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The discussion is moderated by Lawrence Jacobs (Director, Center for the Study of Poltiics and Governance,...

Live Blog: Tax Policy at a Crossroads

12:20 p.m. "Tax Policy at a Crossroads" is the 3rd panel today at the Humphrey Institute's series of forums entitled, America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The discussion is moderated by Howard Gleckman (Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute). The panelists are: * Leonard...

Live Blog: Convention Politics and the Fall Elections II

10:15 a.m. "Convention Politics and the Fall Elections" returns as the second panel this morning at the Humphrey Institute's series of forums entitled, America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The discussion is moderated by Lawrence Jacobs (Director, Center for the Study of Poltiics...

Live Blog: Democracy and America's Role in the World

8:20 a.m. "Democracy and America's Role in the World" kicks off Day 4 at the Humphrey Institute's series of forums entitled America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The discussion is moderated by J. Brian Atwood, Dean, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs,...

Follow Up: Obama to Disappoint Supporters…By Appearing On The O’Reilly Factor

On July 31st Smart Politics outlined several reasons why Barack Obama should not follow in the footsteps of 2000 Democratic Presidential nominee Al Gore, who declined to grant an interview to Bill O’Reilly on his top-rated cable television news program, The O’Reilly Factor. I argued that, in addition to Senator...

Live Blog: Transportation and Climate Change: Promoting Sustainable Growth and Prosperity

2:40 p.m. "Transportation and Climate Change: Promoting Sustainable Growth and Prosperity?" is the final panel today at the Humphrey Institute's series of forums entitled, America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The discussion is moderated by Ray Suarez (Senior Correspondent, The News Hour with...

Live Blog: Building a Better, Safer World: What Would a McCain Presidency Do?

12:40 p.m. "Building a Better, Safer World: What Would a McCain Presidency Do?" is the third panel today at the Humphrey Institute's series of forums entitled, America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The discussion is moderated by Nina Easton (Washington Bureau Chief, Fortune)....

Live Blog: Convention Politics and the Fall Elections

10:05 a.m. "Convention Politics and the Fall Elections" is the second panel this morning at the Humphrey Institute's series of forums entitled, America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The discussion is moderated by former Minnesota Congressman Tim Penny (President, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation)....

Live Blog: The Greater Middle East

8:20 a.m. "The Greater Middle East" kicks off Day 3 at the Humphrey Institute's series of forums entitled America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The discussion is moderated by Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations. The panelists are: *...

Live Blog: How Would They Govern?

1:45 p.m. The final panel today at the Humphrey Institute's America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention is "How Would They Govern?" The panel is moderated by Thomas Mann (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution) and Norman Ornstein (Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute). The panelists are:...

Live Blog: Truth Telling in the Media and the Fall Elections

11:40 a.m. The third forum this morning at the Humphrey Institute's America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention is "Truth Telling in the Media and the Fall Elections." The panel is moderated by Kathleen Hall Jamieson (Professor of Communication and Director, Annenberg Public Policy...

Live Blog: What Are Americans Looking For?

10:00 a.m. "What Are Americans Looking For?" is the second forum today in the Humphrey Institute's America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The discussion is moderated by the always colorful columnist E. J. Dionne (Washington Post, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution). The panelists are:...

Live Blog: Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next Administration

8:25 a.m. "Foreign Policy Challenges for the next Administration" kicks off the second day at the Humphrey Institute's series of forums entitled America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The discussion is moderated by Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations....

Live Blog: Conservatism Today

2:15 p.m. "Conservatism Today" is the fourth panel convened today at the Humphrey Institute's series of forums entitled America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention. Moderating this afternoon's panel is E.J. Dionne (Columnist, Washington Post and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution). The panelists are: *...

Live Blog: The Future of U.S. Foreign Assistance

11:45 a.m. The third panel this morning at the Humphrey Institute's America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention is entitled, "The Future of U.S. Foreign Assistancde: Effective Development and National Security. The panel is moderated by Matthew McLean, Vice President, Millennium Challenge Corporation. Panelists...

Live Blog: Climate Change and Energy Security

9:45 a.m. The second panel this morning at the Humphrey Institute's America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention is entitled "Climate Change and Energy Security." Moderated by Reid Detchon (Executive Director, Energy and Climate, United Nations Foundation), the panelists are former New York Governor...

Live Blog: Faith and Politics

8:15 a.m. The Humphrey Institute's America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention kicks off this morning with a panel discussing 'Faith and Politics.' Moderated by Krista Tippett, Host and Producer of Speaking of Faith, the panelists are Richard Land (President, Ethics and Religious Liberty...