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Smart Politics to Live Blog Minnesota Elections Conference Featuring Mondale, Ritchie, Ramstad

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Smart Politics will live blog a conference on Minnesota elections administration this morning sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. The conference includes panelists such as Vice President Walter Mondale, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, and Congressman Jim Ramstad. From the CSPG website:

The Minnesota Tradition of Fair Elections
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
9:30 - 11:45am
Cowles Auditorium
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

The close contest for U.S. Senate has given rise to challenges and questions by the campaigns of Senator Norm Coleman and Al Franken. The war of words between the campaigns has raised concerns about the fairness and credibility of Minnesota's election process. The truth, however, is that Minnesota's administrative and judicial process for elections is among the most respected in the country. Vice President Walter Mondale, Congressman Jim Ramstad, and former Elmer Andersen aide Tom Swain are joined by national and regional experts to examine the Minnesota tradition of fair elections.

Schedule:

9:30-10:30am: The Minnesota Gold Standard
· Edward B. Foley, Professor, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University and Director, Election Law @ Moritz
· Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State, Minnesota
· Joe Mansky, Ramsey County Elections Manager, Ramsey County
· Moderator: Lawrence R. Jacobs, Professor, Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota

10:30-10:45am: Break

10:45-11:30am: The Minnesota Tradition of Fair Elections
· Vice President Walter Mondale
· Congressman Jim Ramstad
· Tom Swain, former Chief of Staff to Elmer Andersen
· Moderator: Lori Sturdevant, Editorial Writer/Columnist, Star Tribune

11:30-11:45am: Strengthening Minnesota's Tradition of Excellence in Elections Administration
· Rachel Smith, Anoka County Elections Manager and lead on the Elections Administration Project at the Humphrey Institute

Previous post: Live Blog: Governor Pawlenty and Health Care Reform
Next post: Live Blog: Fair Elections 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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