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Posts in "Minnesota"
September 29, 2014
In response to a poll released last week by Republicans showing a tight race, Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson’s campaign on Monday released a poll of its own from early September that had found the incumbent with a wider lead.
The three-week-old survey, shared first with CQ Roll Call, showed the Democratic incumbent up 53 percent to 29 percent over state Sen. Torrey Westrom. Westrom’s poll, conducted Sept. 21-23 by the Tarrance Group, found Peterson with a 5-point lead.
The Peterson poll also showed the incumbent with a 58 percent favorable rating, with just 19 percent viewing him unfavorably. That survey of 405 likely voters was conducted by Global Strategy Group from Sept. 4-7 with a 4.9-point margin of error. Full story
August 19, 2014
Minnesota Democrats think Rep. Collin C. Peterson is nearly unbeatable in the 7th District. For the first time in more than a decade, that theory is about to be put to the test.
Peterson is one of just a handful of House Democrats representing a decidedly Republican district, but he has won re-election even in GOP wave years. In 2012, presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the conservative, rural district by 10 points as the Democratic lawmaker won his race by a 25-point margin.
This year, Peterson faces his most formidable challenger in several cycles. Though the Democrat remains the front-runner, Republican state Sen. Torrey Westrom brings a compelling life story as the first blind member of the legislature, and more political experience than any of Peterson’s recent opponents.
“We’re paying attention,” Peterson told CQ Roll Call in a recent interview. “We’ve never been targeted before, so we’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen.”
Minnesota Republicans and Democrats agree on one point, at least: Westrom has a good shot at ending up in Congress.
It’s just not clear when.
August 14, 2014
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will hold a retreat in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, this weekend with donors to boost two Democratic Senate campaigns: Rep. Gary Peters’ bid in Michigan and Sen. Al Franken’s re-election in Minnesota.
According to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call, the Lake Tahoe Retreat runs from Aug. 15 through 17 at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino in Incline Village. The required contribution to attend is $10,000 with checks made payable to Searchlight Lake Tahoe Victory Fund, Reid’s joint fundraising committee. Full story
July 7, 2014
Al Franken knows the story — just not from this side.
In 2008, a first-time candidate dogged by his career history faced a formidable incumbent dragged down by an unpopular second-term president. The result: now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, in a shockingly close race that only ended after a months-long contentious recount and legal battle.
Now Coleman’s hand-picked candidate wants to return the favor in 2014. Franken will face a wealthy investment banker and first-time candidate, Mike McFadden, in November — and this time, he’s the senator battling an unpopular president’s drag on the ballot.
August 5, 2013
The National Republican Congressional Committee has made a small television buy likely intended to target Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn.
The $24,800 worth of airtime in the Duluth, Minn., market is for a spot slated to run Aug. 6-12, confirmed two media-buying sources not associated with the NRCC to CQ Roll Call.
May 31, 2013
Hotel magnate Jim Graves, a Democrat, dropped his bid for Minnesota’s 6th District on Friday — just a few days after his opponent, embattled Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced her retirement from Congress.
Graves portrayed his nascent effort as a success in an email to supporters, pointing to Bachmann’s departure from Congress.
“A year ago, we set out on a mission: To restore civility, functionality and honesty to Washington by removing Michele Bachmann from office,” Graves wrote to supporters. “Her hateful rhetoric and dangerous policies fueled an extremist movement unlike anything we’d seen in a long time.” Full story
May 30, 2013
Republicans exhaled this week when vulnerable Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced her retirement from the otherwise reliable GOP district.
Their relief might not last long. In Minnesota, some Republican strategists fret that the state party’s quirky endorsement process could yield a “Bachmann 2.0” candidate — and put the seat in play again.
“The wrong candidate could lose this for Republicans,” said former Rep. Mark Kennedy, the Republican who preceded Bachmann in the 6th District. “And that would be a key concern for whether the endorsing process delivers the right candidate.” Full story
March 27, 2013
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s re-election campaign and the Ready for Hillary super PAC made public Wednesday new hires to their organizations.
Franken’s team announced that Matt Burgess has been hired to manage the Democrat’s 2014 re-election campaign, according to Minnesota Public Radio. Burgess is a longtime Democratic operative, with former stints at EMILY’s List and the Service Employees International Union, among others.
The super PAC devoted to drafting Hillary Rodham Clinton into the 2016 presidential race, Ready for Hillary PAC, announced Wednesday that it has hired Nickie Titus to be its digital director.
Titus spent the 2012 cycle on now-Sen. Tim Kaine’s, D-Va., campaign. She previously worked for the new media firm Blue State Digital and, like Burgess, she came up through the ranks at EMILY’s List.
CQ Roll Call recently took a look at who else is behind the Draft Hillary effort.
March 4, 2013
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken and former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina will headline the Montana Democratic Party’s Mansfield-Metcalf dinner Saturday.
Messina is a former campaign manager and chief of staff to Montana Sen. Max Baucus, who is running for re-election in 2014 and has already drawn two GOP challengers. Franken, a former “Saturday Night Live” writer and actor, is also running next year, though no major Republican opponent has yet to step forward.
Baucus, Sen. Jon Tester and Gov. Steve Bullock will also address attendees at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds. Other speakers include Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and Nancy Keenan, the former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America and a former congressional candidate in Montana.
January 2, 2013
Updated 8:01 p.m. | For a brief period on Wednesday it appeared Republicans could count Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., out of the race against Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., in 2014.
“No, that’s ridiculous,” Paulsen said, when Minnesota Public Radio asked him about running. However, the MPR report was updated later with a clarification from the congressman’s office. His use of the word “ridiculous” wasn’t in reference to the Senate race after all. It had to do with his vote on the fiscal cliff deal. Here’s MPR’s update:
Paulsen’s office says his use of the word “ridiculous” wasn’t about running for Senate. A spokesman says Paulsen used the word in the context to the preface of the question that mentioned Paulsen’s “no” vote on the fiscal cliff deal before asking whether he was running for Senate.
Republicans have talked up Paulsen, as well as his colleague Rep. John Kline, as potential Franken challengers. Neither Republican has ruled out a bid publicly.
Meanwhile, Kline “continues to keep all options on the table,” according to his spokesman, Troy Young.
In 2008, Franken won one of the closest Senate races in decades following a lengthy recount. He has indicated that he plans to seek re-election next year.
CQ Roll Call rates this race as Leans Democratic.
October 31, 2012
President Barack Obama’s campaign claimed today that Mitt Romney’s campaign is “flailing” in the final days, with senior strategist David Axelrod betting his mustache that Obama will win the newly minted battlegrounds of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota.
Axelrod and Obama campaign manager Jim Messina on a conference call with reporters dismissed the Romney campaign’s late charge into those states, despite persistent polling leads for Obama, as a sign that it is losing in the existing battlegrounds and is increasingly desperate to expand the map.
“It’s break glass time in Boston,” Axelrod said. “I’ve put my mustache on the line.”
Messina said Democrats are piling up big leads among early voters in key battleground states including Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, Colorado and Florida.
Axelrod dismissed a question about Obama consistently trailing significantly among independents in polling. Full story
May 15, 2012
A pack of noteworthy Democratic Members were scheduled Wednesday to host a fundraiser for former Rep. Rick Nolan, who is running for the Democratic nomination in Minnesota’s 8th district. The invitation to the Washington, D.C., event encourages attendees to come “celebrate the Democratic Farmer Labor Endorsement of Rick Nolan.”
The fundraiser’s hosts include Minnesota’s entire Democratic Congressional delegation and non-Gopher State Members that Nolan served with during his previous stint on Capitol Hill. Nolan has a competitive primary and is trying to send a message that Minnesota’s Democratic establishment and others are coalescing around his candidacy.
April 24, 2012
The Minnesota Republican Party will face an eviction hearing next week over unpaid rent, according to the Associated Press. Full story
February 21, 2012
Let there be no doubt, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) staked her claim today on the newly drawn 6th district of Minnesota.
A special court panel drew the Congresswoman’s home into Rep. Betty McCollum’s (D) 4th district, but she forcefully told Roll Call that the 6th district was where she planned to continue her legislative career.
“I wanted to be very clear, unmistakable, unequivocal today out of the gate, I will be running in the 6th district,” she said. “So there was no question so people would be able to make their decisions accordingly as well.”