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Battle for the Statehouse: Minnesota's State Senate Races

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Can you name your state senator?

This autumn Minnesota voters will decide not only two closely-watched statewide races (for Governor and U.S. Senator), but also which party will run each of its two narrowly controlled legislative chambers. State legislative matchups do not normally get the ink of statewide elections, but in Minnesota these races are uncommonly sexy, especially for the state senate.

Minnesota boasts 70% of the competitive state senate districts across the Upper Midwest (districts are usually classified as 'competitive' when decided by 10 points or less in the previous election cycle). Of the 30 competitive state senate districts in Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, the Gopher state is home to 21.

The state senate is controlled by the DFL in Minnesota (38-29), but they will need to defend more than three times as many open districts (7) than the GOP (2) come November. Open districts sometimes turn into competitive districts, regardless of the closeness of previous election results, as voters take a fresh look at all the candidates.

The DFL and GOP in Minnesota have been extremely adept at fielding candidates in nearly every State Senate district in recent years (96% of such elections since 2000 have had both democrat and republican candidates on the ballot). In 2006, 65 of the 67 races will feature candidates from both major parties so several intriguing matchups should emerge between the DFL and GOP hopefuls.

Now, can you name your state senator?

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1 Comment


  • Can you name your state senator?

    Michele Bachmann.

    *shudder*

    Here's hoping she finds herself out of a job in January.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

    Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

    Political Crumbs

    Six for Thirteen

    Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


    Seeing Red

    Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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