Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Election Profile: Minnesota's 7th Congressional District (2008)

Bookmark and Share

Smart Politics is running a series of election profiles of all the Upper Midwestern U.S. Senate and U.S. House races leading up to the November 4th elections. The series will culminate with Smart Politics' official projections. The twenty-third profile in the series is Minnesota's 7th Congressional District race.

Candidates:
DFL: Collin C. Petersen (9-term incumbent)
Republican: Glen Menze

District Geography:
Minnesota's 7th Congressional District comprises counties along the western rim of the state: Becker, Big Stone, Chippewa, Clay, Clearwater, Douglas, Grant, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Lac Qui Parle, Lake of the Woods, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, McLeod, Meeker, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Roseau, Sibley, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wilkin, Yellow Medicine, and parts of Beltrami and Stearns counties.

History:
Collin Peterson is one of three Upper Midwestern Blue Dog Democrats comprising the nearly four-dozen member body in the US House. Peterson entered Congress by defeating seven-term GOP incumbent Arlan Stangeland by 7.1 points back in 1990. Peterson then narrowly won re-election in 1992 (by 1.3 points) and 1994 (2.6 points) before thoroughly dominating his GOP counterparts from 1996-2002 by an average margin of victory of 37 points. In 2004 Peterson beat his Republican opponent David Sturrock by 32.3 points and in 2006 he rolled to a 40.7-point victory over Michael J. Barrett.

Peterson, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has been known to frequently cross party lines and vote with the GOP, and is a strong advocate of fiscal conservatism. Congressional Quarterly found Peterson to have the lowest party loyalty score (at approximately 70 percent) of any member of Minnesota's Congressional delegation over the past five years (second was retiring Representative Jim Ramstad, and third was Senator Norm Coleman).

Republican Glen Menze, an accountant, is staging a belated rematch against Peterson: in 2000, Menze lost to Peterson by a 68.7 percent to 29.3 percent margin. Menze is running to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, to cut spending, to reduce regulation of small businesses, to stop illegal immigration, to advocate pro-life and pro-traditional marriage policies, and to reduce energy costs through more domestic drilling and developing new nuclear plants, and hydrogen, wind, solar, and bio-fuel technologies.

Outlook:
The 7th Congressional District is one of the more conservative in the state: Tim Pawlenty carried the district by 8.4 points in 2006, George W. Bush carried it by 12.4 points in 2004 and by 14.6 points in 2000. Rod Grams also won the district by 4.4 points over Mark Dayton in 2000. Despite its conservative tendencies, Republicans have not offered up a competitive candidate against Peterson in the district since 1994. While a traditional Democrat in the 7th District may be nervous on Election Day, a Blue Dog Democrat like Peterson will have few worries.

Previous post: Election Profile: Minnesota's 6th Congressional District (2008)
Next post: Election Profile: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District (2008)

2 Comments


  • nice article, thank you

  • You may think the Blue Dogs are safe in more conservative districts, but there has gotten to be such a large number of progressive liberals in these areas, that they are about to dump the Blue Dog if he looks like an Elephant. Even to the point of voting Republican to start fresh and get the Blue Dogs out. The the Dogs screw everyone.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

    Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

    Political Crumbs

    Mary Burke: English First?

    While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


    Does My Key Still Work?

    Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting