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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

    Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

    Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

    Political Crumbs

    Haugh to Reach New Heights

    The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


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