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Minnesota Government Update


November 18, 2009



Latest Poll on 2010 Governor’s Race
For the 2010 gubernatorial race, 50 percent of Minnesota Republicans would support former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman, according to a just released Rasmussen Reports poll. Coleman has yet to decide whether he will run for Governor.  Coming in second place with 26 percent was the "undecided" vote.  State Representative Marty Seifert (R-Marshall), who announced his gubernatorial candidacy in June, polled 11 percent support, followed by the category "another candidate" at 7 percent.  Five percent of the Republican voters would support State Representative Laura Brod (R-New Prague).  Brod has expressed some interest in running for Governor but has not actively campaigned. State Representative Tom Emmer (R-Delano) picked up 1 percent in the poll.  Emmer filed for the office in July.
 
On the DFL side, former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak tied with 30 percent each.  Rybak's high support is notable considering he just announced his candidacy this month. The "undecided" category took 20 percent.  Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL-Minneapolis) garnered 8 percent of the DFL vote and former House Minority Leader Matt Entenza polled 6 percent.  Five percent of the DFL votes listed "another candidate" as their choice.
 
The latest Rasmussen Reports poll also shows U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) at a 58 percent approval rating.  Her counterpart, freshman U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) is at a 50 percent approval rating.  A previous poll in September, had pegged Franken at 41 percent job performance approval.
 
Governor Tim Pawlenty's approval rating came in at 52 percent.  When asked, 42 percent of the state's likely voters indicated they would vote for Pawlenty if he ran for President in 2012.

Gubernatorial Candidates Update
On the DFL side, another candidate has joined the race for the Governor's office.  Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak filed the necessary paperwork with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board shortly after being elected to his third term as Mayor of Minneapolis in early November.  Rybak is the tenth DFLer in the gubernatorial race.  GOP gubernatorial candidates Representative Paul Kohls and Senator Mike Jungbauer have both suspended their campaigns for Governor and businessman Brian Sullivan has reaffirmed his position against running for the office.
 
DFL Major Candidates (10)
Tom Bakk, Mark Dayton, Matt Entenza, Susan Gaertner, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Steve Kelley, John Marty, R.T. Rybak, Tom Rukavina and Paul Thissen.
 
GOP Major Candidates (5)
Pat Anderson, Tom Emmer, Bill Haas, David Hann and Marty Seifert.
Republican Tom Emmer has lined up the endorsements of some of his legislative colleagues including eight sitting GOP members of the Minnesota Legislature.  They are Representatives Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo), Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan), Steve Drazkowski (R-Wabasha), Tom Hackbarth (R-Cedar), Mary Liz Holberg (R-Lakeville), Amy Koch (R-Buffalo), Tim Sanders (R-Blaine) and Peggy Scott (R-Andover).

Upcoming Political Calendar 2010
The 2010 Minnesota Legislative Session begins February 4 and kicks off a busy political 2010 calendar.  The state political party endorsing conventions for both major parties have been moved from their usual June time slot to late April.  This schedule may affect the progress of the legislative session, unless members finish before the conventions begin.
 
The traditional September Primary may be moved up as well.  A new federal law has gone into effect requiring states to give military and overseas voters 45 days to receive and mail back general election ballots.  The current election calendar for Minnesota does not allow enough time to complete the voting process for military and overseas voters.  Senators Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka), Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope) and Katie Sieben (DFL-Cottage Grove) plan to introduce a bill as soon as session begins to move up the primary to early August. Governor Tim Pawlenty stated he would sign the bill if it is free from controversial provisions.

  • Feb 2:  Precinct Caucus Night
  • Feb 4:  Legislative Session Begins
  • April 23:  DFL State Party Convention (Duluth)
  • April 29:  GOP State Party Convention (Minneapolis)
  • May 17:  Last date for Legislature to meet in regular session
  • Sept 14: Primary (Potential legislation to move it to August)
  • Nov 2:  General Election

For up-to-date information about the Minnesota Legislature, tune into Almanac: At the Capitol. This lively and informative program is aired Wednesdays during the legislative session on Twin Cities Public Television at 7:00 PM on Channel 17 and at 10:00 PM on Channel 2.

Almanac: At the Capitol is seen on all public television stations throughout Minnesota and in Fargo. Winthrop & Weinstine is the exclusive law-firm partner and a sponsor of the program.

For more information and to see previous broadcasts, check out the
Almanac: At the Capitol Web site at http://tpt.org/aatc/.

 
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