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Guide to 2004 elections

From eNews,February 5, 2004

If you're looking for timely but nonpartisan commentary and analysis on this year's elections, then visit the University of Minnesota's new Center for the Study of Politics. Once there, or even if you check out its Web site, you'll find information about polls, third parties, campaign fundraising, and regional voter trends. The center, housed in the University's Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs on the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis, was launched in January to raise public understanding of politics, serve as a resource to citizens and the media on important policy issues, and show students that politics can be a noble calling. In addition to a Web site, the center will bring in political leaders--such as former U.S. senators--for extended periods to provide a political context for current issues and engage students in discussions and problem solving. The first big undertaking of the center is its 2004 Elections Project, which will provide coverage of the politics in the Upper Midwest from state and local elections to the national presidential race. "This is an oft-overlooked region when it comes to political analysis and commentary, even though presidential races can be won or lost in the swing states of the Midwest," says Larry Jacobs, political science professor and project director. Jacobs will be conducting a poll this spring that will, for the first time, identify key voting groups in the Upper Midwest, look at the attitudes and concerns of suburban voters, and see what's driving their votes.

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