Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


How High Will the GOP (Tidal) Wave Be When It Hits Minnesota in November?

Bookmark and Share

All signs point to GOP momentum in states across each of Minnesota's borders

Minnesota's open 2010 gubernatorial race remains classified as a true 'toss-up' by each of the nation's leading political analysts - and for good reasons.

First, no one knows who the candidates will be - and even after the nominating conventions in a few weeks they will still be unknown until the mid-August primary, given Mark Dayton's position to not abide by the DFL party endorsement. As such, polling has been sparse and what polling does exist includes a large percentage of undecided voters.

Second, even if both the GOP and DFL general election candidates were known, there is still the Independence Party factor. Will the eventual IP candidate's following in the 2010 race be akin to that of Peter Hutchinson in 2006 (minimal), Tim Penny in 2002 (moderate), or (then Reform Party candidate) Jesse Ventura in 1998 (substantial)?

Some Democrats are optimistic that a (right of center) IP Tom Horner candidacy will do for the DFL in 2010 what they believe the (left of center) Peter Hutchinson candidacy did for Republican Tim Pawlenty in his 1-point squeaker over Mike Hatch four years ago.

Third, it is not known which of the following Gopher State red-blue political trends will be in play for this race.

Will it be the bluish trend which has brought Minnesota to vote a nation-leading nine consecutive elections for the Democratic presidential nominee, has seen the cumulative vote for GOP state legislative candidates decline across the last five election cycles, and saw the 2008 statewide GOP tally in Congressional races reach its lowest mark since 1934?

Or will it be the reddish trend that has delivered to the Gopher State the third longest Democratic gubernatorial drought in the country, behind only South Dakota and Utah?

If the Democrats do prevail in Minnesota's top of the ticket race in November, it may prove to be one of the more remarkable victories across the nation - particularly considering the inroads Republicans appear to be making in each of Minnesota's neighboring states.

The Republican tidal wave appears to have already struck land in Iowa, Wisconsin, and both of the Dakotas:

· In Iowa, unpopular 1-term Democratic Governor Chet Culver is facing double-digit deficits in early polling against former 4-term Republican Governor Terry Branstad.

· Wisconsin's 2-term Democratic Governor Jim Doyle's similarly low approval ratings drove him from seeking a third term this November. Top Republican contenders Mark Neumann and Scott Walker both hold advantages over Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in recent matchup polls.

· Wisconsin could even see its Senate seat flip, should former 4-term Republican Governor Tommy Thompson opt for a last-minute challenge against 3-term Democratic Senator Russ Feingold. Early polling shows Feingold faring well against all challengers, with the exception of Thompson, against whom some surveys show Feingold facing a double-digit deficit (e.g. WPR/St. Norbert College; WPRI).

· In North Dakota, the transition from GOP governor to Senator is nearly complete, with Republicans poised to pick up that state's open U.S. Senate seat with popular Governor John Hoeven holding a better than 2:1 advantage over his Democratic rival Tracy Potter.

· In South Dakota, things are so bad for the Democratic Party that they failed to field a candidate in the U.S. Senate contest against 1-term GOP incumbent John Thune. The 2010 race marks the first time in 34 contests since popular vote elections were introduced in 1914 that a Democratic candidate has failed to appear on the ballot in the Mount Rushmore State.

· South Dakota Republicans also have a crowded field of gubernatorial primary hopefuls from which will emerge the candidate who will seek to extend the nation's longest Republican gubernatorial winning streak in the nation - at 36 years.

This early data suggests that the national pull back towards the Republican Party has already happened across each of Minnesota's borders.

But what might be the sourest note hit during the prelude to this 2010 political overture for Minnesota Democrats is their own political history:

Of Minnesota's 28 gubernatorial elections held since 1930, a DFLer or a Democrat has been elected to the Governor's mansion with a Democratic president in D.C. on only 1 occasion (1962; Karl Rolvaag and JFK).

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: How Do Members of Congress Use the American Flag in Their Reelection Campaigns?
Next post: Former FBI Special Agent Ali Soufan Speaks on Torture and the War on Terrorism at Humphrey Institute

1 Comment


  • I probably will tend to recommend
    Smart Politics -
    How High Will the GOP (Tidal) Wave Be When It Hits Minnesota in November?


    to persons of which I are familiar with. Beneficial Job. -Tijuana Ekstrum - Fashions trend follower

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

    Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

    Political Crumbs

    Mary Burke: English First?

    While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


    Does My Key Still Work?

    Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting