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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

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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