Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Who Will Be the 'Override Three?'

Bookmark and Share

The budget crisis outlined at the Capitol earlier this month is of such historic proportions that it will likely only serve to further strain the already tense relationship between Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and the DFL-controlled legislature. In order to balance the budget, both sides will be calling for change: perhaps on the revenue side by the DFL and tough spending cuts from the Governor’s camp.

Pawlenty will not be daunted by the DFL’s numbers – he already holds the record for the most vetoes by a Minnesota governor in one year, with the 34 he issued in 2008 against a DFL legislature that was nearly as well stocked as the one taking office next session.

As the Senate remains veto-proof for the DFL, the question for Capitol-watchers in 2009 is which GOP legislators in the House are most likely to break ranks from their party (if any) to become the ‘Override 3’ to join 87 DFLers and overturn one of Pawlenty’s forthcoming vetoes.

The pressure from the Governor on the House Republicans to hold its caucus together will be immense, and the pressure on any potential member who seeks to stray from the GOP leadership even greater.

One need only look at the fate of the Override 6 from 2008: two retired and three others were denied the GOP endorsement (one lost in the primary, one lost in the general election, and one won re-election - Jim Abeler of Anoka in 48B).

Where we find the Override 3 will of course depend in part on the particular legislation at issue. But a good place to start such a search is to examine those Republican House Districts that were carried by the DFL at the top of the ticket in 2008. In other words, we need to look for red seats in blue or purple districts – those districts that may not simply be tolerant of an independent-thinking legislator, but ones that may demand it.

In fact, nearly one-quarter Republican Representatives elected in 2008 (11 of 47, 23 percent) hail from districts carried by Barack Obama: Morrie Lanning (09A), Tim Kelly (28A), Gregory Davids (31B), Tara Mack (37A), Keith Downey (representing former Override 6 District 41A), Jenifer Loon (42B), Sarah Anderson (43A), Tim Sanders (51A), Matt Dean (52B), Carol McFarlane (53B), and Denny McNamara (57B).

· While the average length of service by the Override 6 was 4.5 terms, the average length of service by the Representatives from these 11 districts is just 2.6 terms.

· Five of these legislators have no House voting record to predict future voting behavior as they are beginning their first term in St. Paul: Kelly (28A), Mack (37A), Downey (41A), Loon (42B), and Sanders (51A).

· Davids (31B) and Downey (41A) also represent districts that Obama carried by double-digit margins (11.8 points and 12.6 points respectively).

· Four rookie Representatives won their own House race by less than five points: Kelly (28A), Mack (37A), Downey (41A), and Sanders (51A).

· While none of the Representatives serve districts carried by Al Franken in the U.S. Senate race, Norm Coleman carried the districts of Lanning (09A), Kelly (28A), and Davids (31B) by less than 2.5 points each.

The fundamental question determining the potential formation of an Override 3 in 2009 is whether or not these young Republicans (assuming they are not in accord with the GOP caucus on the legislation at hand) will be too timid to take on their own party and vote with the DFL on an override and avoid the risk of losing their party’s endorsement in 2010’s primary.

Such a risk is great, as three much more experienced legislators from the Override 6 learned in 2008 when they were denied party endorsements: Ron Erhardt (9 terms), Jim Abeler (5 terms), and Neil Peterson (2 terms).

Then again, if an Override 3 is to form, it is possible it will come from an experienced and perhaps (over)confident Republican hailing from a district that was easily won by John McCain. After all, the Override 6 each represented districts that were carried by Pawlenty at the top of the ticket in 2006, and by an average of 11.1 points.

Minnesota GOP Representatives In Obama Districts

District
Legislator
Term
HD MoV
Obama MoV
Coleman MoV
09A
Morrie Lanning
4th
18.5
17.8
2.4
28A
Tim Kelly
1st
3.8
6.3
1.3
31B
Gregory Davids
9th
2.1
11.8
1.3
37A
Tara Mack
1st
4.6
5.9
7.7
41A*
Keith Downey
1st
4.8
12.6
8.6
42B
Jenifer Loon
1st
14.9
2.5
17.9
43A
Sarah Anderson
2nd
8.8
6.7
10.3
51A
Tim Sanders
1st
4.6
1.5
7.2
52B
Matt Dean
3rd
11.3
0.1
14.0
53B
Carol McFarlane
2nd
8.5
5.3
8.1
57B
Denny McNamara
4th
14.5
4.4
6.3
* Note: Home to Override 6 casualty Ron Erhardt.



Previous post: Minnesota Leads Nation in Voter Turnout for Seventh Straight Election Cycle
Next post: 'The McCain 14': House DFLers in Republican-Leaning Districts

3 Comments


  • Greg Davids isn't a first-termer... he's is returning to the seat he held for a number of terms (I don't remember how many) until he lost to Ken Tschumper, who Greg beat in this last election.

  • Thanks for catching that typo - this is, in fact, his 9th House electoral victory (his first was in 1991) - and all apologies to the former Speaker Pro Tempore. The information has been corrected in the table.

  • The real dilemma facing these people is this: If the Republicans are viewed as obstructionists, especially on purely ideological grounds such as "no new taxes," in two years no one will have to worry because the DFL will own half of these seats, too. So do they hold tough, and get creamed in 2010, or do they bend a little to look cooperative to keep their seats.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

    A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

    Political Crumbs

    Final Four Has Presidential Approval

    By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


    Three for the Road

    A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


    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