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Smart Politics Projections: Minnesota State House

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GOP looks to notch biggest gains in Minnesota House since 1978, though lower chamber takeover still difficult

Current partisan split
DFL: 87
Republican: 47

Incumbents
DFL incumbents: 80
Open DFL seats: 7
Republican incumbents: 39
Open Republican seats: 8

Unchallenged seats
No DFL on the ballot: 4
No Republican on the ballot: 0

Analysis
The DFL was able to flirt with a 90-seat veto-proof majority in the State House during the last few election cycles thanks to a large number of competitive races that tilted in their direction during the Democratic waves of 2006 and 2008.

In 2008, the DFL won 18 seats by less than 10 points, including 10 of these that they also won by less than 10 points in 2006. Another four were pick-ups in 2008.

The GOP will not run the table on all of these seats currently held by the DFL in 2010, but Republicans will likely also capture a few other districts that were won by the DFL outside of single digits two Novembers ago.

All told, while history predicts the GOP will gain 19 seats - precisely the current DFL advantage in the House - the fact that Republicans will not have a strong candidate at the top of the ticket in the gubernatorial race commanding a majority of the vote will hurt its chances to rack up this many wins.

Still, gains on par with or likely exceeding the elections of 1984 (11 seats) and 1994 (13 seats) are certainly in the cards. (The 10-seat GOP gains in 2002, though substantial, are less appropriate examples from which to draw as they took place during the first election after new district lines were created).

Projection
Partisan shift: GOP +14
Partisan control: DFL hold

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1 Comment


  • Did I miss the forecast for MN-Governor ?

    Looks like if the assumption is a sizeable pick-up in the MN-House and MN-Senate and a victory for Congresswoman Bachmann and competitive races in the 1st and 8th Districts, should we presume that Tom Emmer should be the next Governor ?

    What areas (or districts) do you see the shift from DFL to MN-GOP ?
    Are there any seats that you project as "Guaranteed" and how many are "Too close to call" ... in other words in the 14 House seats that you see moving, do you also see the potential for more ?

  • Leave a comment


    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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