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Coleman Victory Would Renew Minnesota Tradition of Split-Ticket Voting

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If Norm Coleman is able to hold onto his narrow lead against Al Franken in the 2008 U.S. Senate recount that began on Wednesday, he would accomplish a feat that has not been seen in Minnesota since before World War II: no Republican since 1940 has been elected Senator from the Gopher State in a presidential election year in which a Democrat was sent to the White House.

In that year, 3-term GOP incumbent Henrik Shipstead cruised to a 27.3-point win while FDR won his third straight national victory. It has not happened since.

However, the battleground state of Minnesota is no stranger to split-ticket voting, and a Coleman victory would mark the 5th instance out of the last 6 times a Republican was elected Senator from Minnesota since 1936 in which the Gopher State cast its electoral ballots for a Democrat:

· In 1988, Minnesota elected Republican Dave Durenberger to the Senate for the third time, while Michael Dukakis carried the state by 7 points.
· In 1984, Republican Rudy Boschwitz was re-elected to a second term as Walter Mondale carried Minnesota by less than 4,000 votes.
· In 1940, GOPer Henrik Shipstead won a fourth term as FDR won the Gopher State by 3.8 points.
· In 1936’s special election, Republican Guy Howard won a competitive field of four candidates with a 42.9 percent plurality as FDR cruised to a 30.8-point re-election victory in Minnesota.

In 1952, the Republicans ran the table, with Dwight D. Eisenhower winning the state of Minnesota (by 11.2 points) and GOP Senator Edward Thye winning re-election (by 14.1 points). Republicans have carried both offices in Minnesota in only two other instances: 1924 (Thomas D. Schall and Calvin Coolidge) and 1916 (Frank B. Kellogg and Charles E. Hughes).

Democrats, however, have swept the U.S. Senate and presidential tickets within the state several times: in 1948 (Hubert Humphrey and Harry Truman), 1960 (Humphrey and John F. Kennedy), 1964 (Eugene McCarthy and Lyndon Johnson), 1976 (Humphrey and Jimmy Carter), 1996 (Paul Wellstone and Bill Clinton), and 2000 (Mark Dayton and Al Gore).

MN U.S. Senate and Presidential Elections, 1912-2008

Year
MN Senate
MN President
National President
2008
Republican (?)
Democrat
Democrat
2000
DFL
Democrat
Republican
1996
DFL
Democrat
Democrat
1988
Republican
Democrat
Republican
1984
Republican
Democrat
Republican
1976
DFL
Democrat
Democrat
1972
DFL
Republican
Republican
1964
DFL
Democrat
Democrat
1960
DFL
Democrat
Democrat
1952
Republican
Republican
Republican
1948
DFL
Democrat
Democrat
1940
Republican
Democrat
Democrat
1936 (special)
Republican
Democrat
Democrat
1936
Farmer-Labor
Democrat
Democrat
1928
Farmer-Labor
Republican
Republican
1924
Republican
Republican
Republican
1916
Republican
Republican
Democrat
1912
Republican
Progressive
Democrat

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Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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