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Smart Politics Projections: Minnesota State House (2008)

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Through the morning of November 4th, Smart Politics is running a series of electoral projections for national and Upper Midwestern federal and state governmental contests. The thirteenth projections in the series are State House races in the State of Minnesota.

Minnesota: State House.
Balance of power: DFL (85 to 49)
2006 Results: DFL +19
Seats up for reelection in 2008: 134
Open seats: Republicans = 11; DFL = 6
Incumbents on the ballot: Republicans = 38; DFL = 79

Outlook: The DFL and GOP each had one incumbent defeated in September's primary elections. Republicans will have no incumbent running in 22 percent of their House districts (11 of 49), compared to just 7 percent for the DFL (6 of 85). However, the DFL will have to defend 27 districts decided by 10 points or less, compared to 17 for the Republicans - which gives the GOP more low-hanging fruit. The DFL will seek pickups in districts such as 16A, 17A, 18B, 22B, 24B, 32B, 38B, 41B, 43A, 52B, and 53B. The Republicans will have a number of opportunities to be competitive, including Districts 12B, 17B, 25B, 29B, 30B, 31B, 37A, 38A, 47A, 51A, 53A, 56A, and 56B.

Smart Politics Projection: DFL +3. DFL retains control of House.

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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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