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Green Party Sets Personal Best in Minnesota's HD 61B Contest

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In Minnesota’s House District 61B election on Tuesday, Green Party candidate Farheen Hakeem received 30.3 percent of the vote – the highest mark ever reached by the Green Party in a House contest.

The Green Party has run 29 candidates for the House of Representatives in special and general election contests since 1998. The previous high mark was in 2004 when Tom Taylor earned 20.9 percent in District 59A. Only five other Green Party candidates have reached double digits:

· 2002: Tom Menke in District 35A (20.0 percent)
· 2000: Holle M. Brian in District 62B (16.5 percent)
· 2006: Jesse Mortensen in District 64A (15.5 percent)
· 2004: Becki Smith in District 59B (12.7 percent)
· 2002: Eric Oines in District 58A (10.9 percent)

Hakeem and Taylor are the only Green Party candidates to have come in 2nd place in a House district contest. Hakeem set a record for defeating her Republican opponent, Kirsten Lindberg, by 21.0 points. In 2004 Taylor defeated his Republican opponent, Valdis Rozentals, by just 3.4 points.

Only one other Green Party candidate for state legislative or executive office had eclipsed the 30 percent mark in the Gopher State: Joel Sipress received 37.0 percent of the vote in the special election on January 22, 2002 in Senate District 07. However, there was no Republican on the ballot in that contest – only DFL and Independence Party candidates.

Despite this record-setting performance by Hakeem, the Green Party has had difficulty in recruiting candidates for House races in recent years, after a strong run in 2002-2004:

Number of Green Party Candidates in Minnesota House Races
1998: 1
2000: 1
2002: 17
2003 (special): 1
2004: 7
2006: 1
2008: 1

Previous post: Third Party Impact on the 2008 Minnesota Legislative Vote
Next post: How Will the National Media Cover the Franken vs. Coleman Recount?

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Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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