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Smart Politics Projections: Minnesota U.S. House

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Republican storm may leave all trees standing in U.S. House contests

Current delegation partisan split
DFL: 5
Republicans: 3

Incumbents
DFL incumbents: 5
Republican incumbents: 3
Open seats: 0

Analysis
Despite a flurry of national attention early in the election cycle centered around the potential defeat of a Republican U.S. Representative from Minnesota (Michele Bachmann, MN-06), and late in the cycle on the defeat of two DFL incumbents (Tim Walz, MN-01 and Jim Oberstar, MN-08), all eight members of the Gopher State U.S. House delegation are still positioned to win their contests on Tuesday.

While history is full of exceptions, its patterns should give comfort to Representatives Bachmann and Walz - both from the Class of 2006. Two-term incumbents have won 88 percent of their reelection bids in Minnesota history (75 of 85 races), with six of these 10 incumbents defeated after redistricting (election years ending in '2').

Bachmann's advantages this election cycle are well-known (e.g. fundraising, partisan tilt of district). But while Walz is certain to face a much more competitive race than his previous reelection defense, it is worth knowing that history also says only 8 out of 203 Minnesota U.S. House incumbents have been defeated in the general election after receiving at least 60 percent of the vote during the previous election cycle, as Walz did in 2008.

That factoid also applies to Oberstar, who may be hoping for particularly high turnout among his district's seniors - those who have voted for him in many past election cycles and may not be as swept away by the surging campaign of Republican Chip Cravaack.

Projections
MN-01. Tim Walz (DFL hold)
MN-02. John Kline (GOP hold)
MN-03. Erik Paulsen (GOP hold)
MN-04. Betty McCollum (DFL hold)
MN-05. Keith Ellison (DFL hold)
MN-06. Michele Bachmann (GOP hold)
MN-07. Collin Peterson (DFL hold)
MN-08. Jim Oberstar (DFL hold)

Partisan shift: No change

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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.


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