Less than a half year after Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton was sworn into office, he already had one record under his belt: the oldest governor in Minnesota history. Dayton was 63 years, 11 months, and 8 days old on his first day as governor in January 2011 - already good for second on the all-time list. In just over four months on May 8th, Dayton passed up Arne Carlson. Carlson retired in January 1999 at the age of 64 years, 3 months, and 11 days. Only two other Gopher State governors reached the age of 60 during their tenure: Republican Harold LeVander was 60 years, 2 months, and 25 days old when he left office in 1971 and Democrat Rudy Perpich was 62 years, 6 months, and 11 days old at the end of his fourth term in 1991. If Dayton, who is currently 66 years, 7 months, and 2 years old, is reelected in 2014 he would end his second term in January 2019 at 71 years, 11 months, and 12 days of age.
January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.
For each of the last 24 presidential elections since 1920, North and South Dakota have voted in unison - casting their ballots for the same nominee. For 21 of these cycles (including each of the last 12 since 1968) Republicans carried the Dakotas with just three cycles going to the Democrats (1932, 1936, and 1964). This streak stands in contrast to the first few decades after statehood when North and South Dakota supported different nominees in four of the first seven cycles. North Dakota narrowly backed Populist James Weaver in 1892 while South Dakota voted for incumbent Republican Benjamin Harrison. In 1896, it was North Dakota backing GOPer William McKinley while South Dakota supported Democrat William Jennings Bryan by less than 200 votes. North Dakota voted Democratic in 1912 and 1916 supporting Woodrow Wilson while South Dakota cast its Electoral College votes for Progressive Teddy Roosevelt and Republican Charles Hughes respectively.
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