Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Minnesota's 'Youthful' U.S. House Delegation

Bookmark and Share

A recent article at CQ Politics profiled the potential competitiveness of Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District race in 2010. That district's Representative, freshman GOPer Erik Paulsen, is one of several dozen new faces elected to D.C. during the past two election cycles.

Overall, 114 Representatives, or more than 25 percent of the U.S. House, are members serving in only their 1st or 2nd term. Many of these representatives hail from the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida, where Democrats have staged pick-ups in swing districts during the tsunamis of 2006 and 2008.

In Minnesota, for reasons of retirement (Jim Ramstad, Martin Olav Sabo), failed attempts at higher office (Mark Kennedy) and unsuccessful reelection bids (Gil Gutknecht), the Gopher State now has half of its districts represented in D.C. by members in the freshman or sophomore classes.

In fact, at 50 percent, no state with a population of 5 million or more has a larger percentage of 1st or 2nd year Representatives comprising their U.S. House delegation.

Percentage of Freshman and Sophomore U.S. Representatives Among the 20 Most Populous States

State
Districts
Number
Percent
Minnesota
8
4
50.0
Ohio
18
9
50.0
Indiana
9
4
44.4
Maryland
8
3
37.5
Arizona
8
3
37.5
Virginia
11
4
36.4
Florida
25
8
32.0
Pennsylvania
19
6
31.6
Illinois
19
6
31.6
New York
29
9
31.0
New Jersey
13
3
23.1
Tennessee
9
2
22.2
Georgia
12
2
16.7
North Carolina
13
2
15.4
Michigan
15
2
13.3
Wisconsin
8
1
12.5
California
52*
6
11.5
Missouri
9
1
11.1
Massachusetts
10
1
10.0
Texas
32
1
3.1
Washington
9
0
0.0
* California has 53 districts, but its 10th District is currently vacant with Rep. Ellen Tauscher resigning earlier this year.

It is, in fact, Minnesota's newer members, notably Keith Ellison and Michele Bachmann, that have generated most of the national headlines among the state's congressional delegation during the past year (for both personal and policy reasons). The two Representatives, serving the 5th and 6th districts respectively, could not be much more divergent on the ideological spectrum: National Journal rated Ellison's 2008 voting record as the 13th most liberal in the country and Bachmann's as the 31st most conservative.

The four fresh faces in the Minnesota U.S. House delegation (Paulsen, Ellison, Bachmann, and Tim Walz) serve along side two of the more experienced and powerful members of the institution, committee chairs Jim Oberstar and Collin Peterson - giving the Gopher State a potent mixture of the old and the new.

Overall, Minnesota ranks almost exactly in the middle for the average number of terms of service for its members of its U.S. House delegation. At 5.5 terms, Minnesota ranks #26 in the nation, well behind the neighboring state of Wisconsin (#6 at 8.75 terms).

Average Terms of Service by U.S. House State Delegation

Rank
State
Districts
Terms
Average
1
Alaska
1
19
19.00
2
West Virginia
3
36
12.00
3
Michigan
15
153
10.20
4
Delaware
1
9
9.00
4
North Dakota
1
9
9.00
6
Wisconsin
8
70
8.75
7
Massachusetts
10
87
8.70
8
California
52*
387
7.44
9
Washington
9
66
7.33
10
South Carolina
6
43
7.17
11
New Jersey
13
92
7.08
12
New York
29
198
6.83
13
Texas
32
215
6.72
14
Oregon
5
33
6.60
15
Tennessee
9
59
6.56
16
Virginia
11
72
6.55
17
Hawaii
2
13
6.50
17
Rhode Island
2
13
6.50
19
Indiana
9
57
6.33
20
North Carolina
13
80
6.15
21
Arkansas
4
24
6.00
22
Missouri
9
53
5.89
23
Georgia
12
69
5.75
23
Mississippi
4
23
5.75
25
Maryland
8
45
5.63
26
Kansas
4
22
5.50
26
Minnesota
8
44
5.50
28
Florida
25
137
5.48
29
Pennsylvania
19
104
5.47
30
Kentucky
6
32
5.33
31
Illinois
19
98
5.16
32
Montana
1
5
5.00
33
Iowa
5
23
4.60
33
Oklahoma
5
23
4.60
35
Arizona
8
36
4.50
36
Alabama
7
30
4.29
37
Connecticut
5
21
4.20
38
South Dakota
1
4
4.00
39
Ohio
18
69
3.83
40
Nebraska
3
11
3.67
41
Idaho
2
7
3.50
42
Utah
3
10
3.33
43
Nevada
3
9
3.00
44
Maine
2
5
2.50
45
Colorado
7
17
2.43
46
Louisiana
7
15
2.14
47
New Hampshire
2
4
2.00
47
Vermont
1
2
2.00
49
New Mexico
3
3
1.00
49
Wyoming
1
1
1.00
* California has 53 districts, but its 10th District is currently vacant with Rep. Ellen Tauscher resigning earlier this year.

As profiled yesterday at Smart Politics, Minnesota's U.S. Senate delegation has the second lowest seniority in the country.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Minnesota Delegation Has 2nd Lowest Collective Seniority Ranking in U.S. Senate
Next post: How Blue Are the Blue Dog Democrats?

2 Comments


  • How much money does the U of M pay to support this blog? Specifics, please.

  • Thank you for a wonderful website for us statistical junkies to both use and visit.

    This type of "number crunching" is no where to be found in the MSM.

    I am glad that the u of m supports your efforts and the return on investment is quite apparent on these pages.

    Keep up the good work..

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

    Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

    Political Crumbs

    Six for Thirteen

    Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


    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.


    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