Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


House DFLers Head Into 2010 With Favorable Electoral Map

Bookmark and Share

Despite failing to net five seats and reach a 90-seat supermajority in the House of Representatives, the DFL is actually now in a much stronger position heading into 2010 than they were heading into Tuesday’s election. Perhaps more important than netting two additional seats, the DFL deepened their support in districts throughout the state.

In 2006, House DFLers won 27 of their 85 seats by less than 10 points. As a result, many analysts (as well as Minority Leader Marty Siefert) expected Republicans to be able to take advantage of these narrow victory margins in 2008.

But, perhaps due to the unfavorable national political environment for Republicans, that only happened in a few races (Districts 28A, 31B, 37A, and 51A). In fact, the DFL actually expanded their victory margins in 2008: only 18 of the DFL’s 87 seats (21 percent) were won with victory margins of less than 10 points – down from 32 percent of seats won in 2006.

The GOP, on the other hand, basically treaded water. In 2006 17 of their 49 victories were by less than 10 points (35 percent); in 2008, 15 of the GOP’s 47 victories were decided by single-digits (32 percent).

When you add in near competitive races, those decided by less than 20 points, the numbers get even more grim for the House Republicans: more than two-thirds of seats won in 2008, 32 of 47 districts, were decided by less than 20 points, compared to just 39 percent of seats won by the DFL (34 of 87 districts).

The most glaring advantage at the moment for the DFL is that nearly half of their seats are being won in blowouts: 42 of 87 districts were carried by victory margins of 30 or more points on Tuesday (48 percent). In stark contrast, only 5 Republican districts (11 percent) were won by such a landslide margin.

The upshot here is that that the DFL leadership can continue to challenge Governor Tim Pawlenty with a bold agenda, without a significant fear of reprisal in 2010. Sure, if the DFL pushes too far they will lose seats, but it will be very difficult for the DFL to lose party control back to the Republicans in 2010, given these recent historical election trends.

In short, expect Pawlenty to sleep at night with his veto pen tucked under his pillow.

Previous post: Wisconsin Votes Democratic By Larger Margin Than Minnesota for First Time in 72 Years
Next post: Independence Party Sets New Records in Election 2008

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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