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

    Kevin McCarthy Becomes Least Tenured Floor Leader in US House History

    At less than four terms, McCarthy has served 423 fewer days in the chamber than any floor leader in U.S. House history and almost 10 years less than the average leader.

    Political Crumbs

    The Second Time Around

    Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


    How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

    Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


    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