The DFL takeover of the Minnesota State House this election was pretty stunning in some ways. Getting 89 seats out of 134 looks substantial. There are several ways of looking at the strength or fragility of the margin. One way is to look at the DFL share of the two party (Republican and Democratic) vote. Across Minnesota the DFL took 55% of the two party vote in the state House. That's a substantial margin at the aggregate level, and indicates the DFL could hold onto the state House for several terms. There were only 20 (of 134) districts where the DFL did worse in 2006 than in 2004, indicating the DFL "wave" was quite uniform across the state. You can see this in the graph below. Most of the dots are above the y=x line, indicating the DFL did better in 2006.
Another assessment is to look at the margins in individual races, and see where the majority was won, lost and inflated, and thus where it could decline next time. The DFL won some of the close races they had lost narrowly last time. You can see this in the following graph.
Notice the bunch of districts just above the horizontal 0.5 line, but also just to the left of the horizontal line. Those are the districts the DFL picked up.
The broad wave of the DFL win is indicated also by how they picked up most of the districts decided by small margins.
Notice how there's a clump of districts just above the line marking 50% of the vote (and a DFL win). Of the 11 districts decided by less than 1 per cent of the two party vote, the DFL won 9 of them.
So, the DFL wave in Minnesota in 2006 was impressive. The aggregate vote won suggests it could be maintained for a while, but the small margins in a significant minority of districts suggest the Republicans could pull back 10 seats next time without much effort.Posted by eroberts at November 14, 2006 3:44 PM