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MN House: GOP at a Disadvantage

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After losing thirteen seats in the Minnesota State House in 2004, the republicans hold a slim 68-66 advantage over their rival DFL. Even if one puts aside the fact that the state (and national) climate is trending democratic in recent months, the GOP is already in a disadvantaged position to make gains come Election Day. The reason: the number of GOP-controlled seats that are in competitive and open districts (34) is greater than those controlled by the DFL (26). In short, there are more vulnerable republican seats than DFL seats.

More than one quarter (37) of the Gopher state's 134 house races are in 'competitive' districts—more than Iowa (15 of 100 districts) and Wisconsin (15 of 99 districts) combined. ('Competitive' districts are classified as those decided by ten points or less in the previous election cycle). Of these 37 competitive districts, the GOP holds 21 and the DFL 16. Twenty-three districts in Minnesota are classified as 'very competitive'—decided by 5 points or less in 2004, while 14 are 'competitive'—decided by between 5 and 10 points.

Republicans are also at a disadvantage in that they are forced to defend 13 of the 23 open district races in 2006.

As a result, there are more DFL incumbents running for re-election (56) for the State House than republicans (55), despite the DFL being the minority party.

On top of these obstacles, the Republican Party's problems are compounded by the current trend in Party ID within the state: according to a series a monthly polls released by SurveyUSA, the percentage of Minnesotans who identify themselves as democrats has risen from 30 percent to 39 percent from May 2005 to October 2006, while the percentage identifying themselves as republican has dropped from 35 percent to 27 percent during this span.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

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.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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