In 2010, a total of 29 candidates ran across Minnesota's eight congressional districts - good for the seventh highest per district average in the history of the state (at 3.63 candidates) across the 78 general cycles dating back to 1857. That number appears to have declined significantly with just 18 DFL, GOP, and Independence Party slots across the eight districts according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's website. The largest candidate-to-district ratio occurred in 2000 when 35 candidates ran for the Gopher State's eight U.S. House seats, or 4.38 candidates per district, followed by the Elections of 1880 (4.33), 1892 and 1992 (4.00), 1894 (3.86), and 1934 (3.67). The last time a major party failed to field a candidate in a Minnesota U.S. House race was 1976 when DFLer Jim Oberstar ran without opposition.
Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).
Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.
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