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No GOP Challenger Yet For Amy Klobuchar? No Problem

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No eventual major party nominee over the last four Minnesota U.S. Senate elections had announced their candidacy at this point in the election cycle

Although Minnesota Republicans are not exactly flocking in droves to take on 1-term Minnesota DFL U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar in 2012, it is a bit premature to read into the dearth of candidacies as a sign the GOP believes it has little chance to take the seat.

There are 642 days until Election Day, and recent Minnesota history suggests it could take a while longer for official candidacies to be announced.

· Senator Klobuchar herself did not announce her candidacy until April 18, 2005 - some 568 days before the 2006 election.

· Klobchar's 2006 GOP opponent for Mark Dayton's open seat - Mark Kennedy - announced his candidacy on February 11, 2005 (634 days in advance of the election).

· Minnesota's junior Senator, Al Franken, had not yet announced his intention to run against Norm Coleman at this point in the 2008 cycle either - waiting until Valentine's Day in 2007, or 629 days before Election Day.

· Dean Barkley of the Independence Party did not file his FEC paperwork in the 2008 election until July 25 of that year, a mere 102 days before voters went to the polls.

· Republican Norm Coleman waited until February 11, 2002 before deciding to challenge Paul Wellstone, or just 267 days before the election.

· Mark Dayton played his cards close to the vest for a long stretch as well - not announcing his candidacy against Republican incumbent Rod Grams until April 3, 2000, or just 218 days before that contest.

Minnesota's other two Senators during the last 16 years - Rod Grams and Paul Wellstone - had also not announced their intention to run for U.S. Senate at this stage in the election cycle.

Grams - a newly-minted Freshman U.S. Representative at the time - announced on December 2, 1993 he would be a candidate for Dave Durenberger's open seat, or 11 months before his eventual 1994 victory.

Wellstone gave himself a little more time: announcing his 1990 bid against Rudy Boschwitz in April of 1989, or 19 months before Election Day.

For the record, Minnesota electoral history gives Senator Klobuchar a two in three chance of retaining her seat next year.

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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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