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This is a follow up diary to one I posted once the new maps were released a few months ago. The filing deadline has passed, and a large number of things and candidates have changed in the last few months. So consider this the post-filing Minnesota Legislature roundup. Like the last time, this will be broken into two parts: Outstate, and Metro

District 1: Northwest Minnesota. This is a pretty balanced district. The lines didn't change much in redistricting. In 2008 both house seats were held by the DFL and in 2010 they were won by Republicans. The senate seat has been held by Leroy Stumpf since before I was born. Stumpf has filed for reelection, and will be a shoo-in for reelection. He will face either Korean(!) War veteran Jual Carlson or (more likely) Thief River Falls mayor Steve Nordhagen. District 1A has freshman incumbent Dan Fabian has managed to not have a serious contender, but a warm DFL body here cannot be 100% discounted, but Fabian looks likely to return to St. Paul. Over in 1B, Deb Kiel has not given off quite as good of an impression locally as Fabian has, and 1B is a lot less Republican friendly than 1A. Now, Marc Demers is no heavyweight, but Kiel is rubbing a lot of people in Theif River Falls and East Grand Forks the wrong way. Incumbency can never be ignored, so this race will need more time to develop before this race shows its true colors.
Senate: Safe D
House A: Likely R
House B: Toss-up

District 2: This is essentially the Bemidji/Park Rapids district. It is best known for being the headwaters of the Mississippi River. This race ended up not playing out at ALL how I expected it would when the maps came out. But when the dust settled, Senator Rod Skoe faces a Some (very angry, from what I gather) Dude in Dennis Moser. I have never met or heard Moser speak, but my friends that have were... amused. Skoe has nothing to worry about, as he averted a primary challenge from the left, as Skoe is a lot like his congressman, Colin Peterson. 2A has another Republican freshman in an interesting spot. The cartographers could have done much worse to Representative Hancock, but there is only so much Republican territory in this part of the state. A retired teacher from one of the Republican areas of the district is running. But I won't make any rash judgments on this race until I see what Erickson is made of. Hancock hasn't made any mistakes, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt for now. Now, due to the new more Republican friendly 2A, that made 2B more DFL friendly with Park Rapids at its core. The woman that Hancock unseated in 2010 lives here, and it has no incumbent. The Republicans didn't endorse in this race, so there will be a primary. But neither candidate has a resume to speak of. Brita Sailer should "sail" back to St. Paul for a 4th term.
Senate: Safe D.
House A: Lean R
House B: Likely D

District 3: Welcome to the Iron Range and the BWCA. Incumbents Bakk, Murphy, and Dill should win by their customary landslides
Senate: Safe D
House A: Safe D
House B: Safe D

District 4: This is essentially Moorhead and surrounding area. Longtime Moorhead Republican stalwart Morrie Lanning is retiring from district 4A.  Lanning is a good man, and he will be sorely missed in St. Paul. He got his biggest priority passed this year (the Vikings stadium), and decided to call it a political career, a career which started during the Vietnam War. Happy trails, Morrie. But, Lanning was holding a seat that no other Republican really has a prayer at holding, which is nearly coterminous with the liberal college town of Moorhead (directly across the river from Fargo) DFLer Ben Lien got the party endorsement, but faces token primary opposition. The Republican field is crowded, but none of the candidates have an inspiring resume. In the marginally less DFL (I say this tongue in cheek, as it is still incredibly Democratic turf) Paul Marquart looks to lock in his 7th term in the House (He won by a margin of nearly 50 points in 2010). In the Senate race, Keith Langseth opted to reture after 4 decades in St. Paul. Popular 10-year incumbent Representative Kent Eken is looking for a promotion in his stead. This is a very tough district for Republicans, but they did score a solid recruit in former Bullfalo Bill standout, Phil Hansen. It is just a hill too tall for a Republican here in all but the most perfect of storms.
Senate: Safe D
House A: Safe D
House B: Likely D

District 5: The amalgam district. 5B is very much an Iron Range district, and 5A is decisively NOT. I honestly had no idea how the cards would fall when it came to candidates here. So many people were drawn in with other people, that it really was quite the trip seeing that musical chairs take place. I hold this district near and dear to my heart, and I had briefly advised a potential candidate here this year (who bowed out when he was paired with Anzelc, who happens to be my former boss). My grandfather and my eldest sister live here. This district is one of the 3 or 4 I know better than any political subdivision anywhere. Alright, enough about me and the sentiment for this district. On the senate side, incumbent Tom Saxhaug is the prohibitive favorite against his token primary opponent, as well as against fellow incumbent senator John Carlson. Carlson's district was completely dismantled, and he lives on the far western edge in Bemidji, which is one of the DFL centers in this district. Saxhaug is immensely popular in Grand Rapids. There simply aren't enough center to center right voters in Cass County to give Carlson much of a chance. On the House side, the picture is a bit murkier. 5A has one of the marquee matchups of the entire state. Two popular incumbents are running in a district that resembles neither of their current districts. The lean of the district is distinctly DFL (although much less so than 5B), but Howes is a very strong Republican. Persell is no pushover himself. This will come down to Bemidji vs. Cass County, and the outcome won't be known til at least election night. 5B has another pair of incumbents, in DFLer Tom Anzelc and Republican Carolyn McElfatrick. This is an Itasca County based district, and Alzelc is quite popular here. McElfatrick is no Larry Howes, but she is an incumbent. This district is much bluer than its next door neighbor, and there is no real source of Republican votes like there is next door. It is hard to see Anzelc even in a close race. But incumbency is something, which is the only thing that keeps this ranking from pure Safe D.
Senate: Likely D
House A: Toss-up (This will be a fun one.)
House B: Likely D

District 6: Heart of the Iron Range. My childhood friend Carly Melin will return to St. Paul for her first full term in 6A (she served the vast majority of this term following the special election to replace Ton Sertich). In 6B, there is another retirement that saddens me. Tom Rukavina is one of the nicest, fieriest, most sincere people you will ever meet. He has been a force in St. Paul for decades, and even though his seat will be filled, he won't be replaced. Oddly, there is a Republican PRIMARY here, which no one can remember the last one of those in the Iron Range. There is also a DFL primary for a lifetime seat. There was no party endorsement, and I don't really have a preference between any of them. That seems to be the general consensus among the local powerbrokers.
Senate: Safe D
House A: Safe D
House B: Safe D

Disdtrict 7: Duluth. Duluth is a mini-San Francisco, and the hub of the Iron Range. In the senate race, Roger Reinert will continue his tenure after succeeding now-Lt. Governor Yvonne Pretter-Solon. Representatives Kerry Gauthier and Tom Huntley will also be reelected with little fanfare. Although Huntley drew a primary opponent, I guess. It won't matter though.
Senate: Safe D
House A: Safe D
House B: Safe D

District 8: Amy Klobuchar lost this district. That is all you really need to know about the political leanings of this area. In 8A, long time GOP Representative Bud Nornes drew token opposition in an Air Force veteran. Senator Bill Ingerbrigtsen is in no danger from Some Dude Dan Skogen. However, district 8B is the home of one Mary Franson. Franson has been making headlines in less than flattering ways in her first term in the House. She is a lot like Michele Bachmann, except the ability to fundraise copious amounts of money. The word on the street is her presence is making this district  much more competitive than it ought to be. Bob Cunniff has local backing, and is well known locally from his 3 decades as football coach of the largest high school and in the district. He also has his own show on a local radio station. He is as good of a candidate as the DFL could hope for here, as the bench is quite thin.
Senate: Safe R
House A: Safe R
House B: Lean R

District 9: This district didn't really exist before. But it is nominally Republican even at the local level. Although there certainly are DFLers than can and have won here. In the Senate race, there is a solid matchup in incumbent Republican Paul Gazelka, who is a freshman, but previously served in the House before being swept out in 2006. And Al Doty, who is a former State Rep, having won election twice in a very unfriendly district, before not being able to hold on against the 2010 Red Wave. The natural tilt of the district is marginally Republican, but the candidates are both top notch. Conversely in 9A, there really aren't any strong candidates. It is Some Dude vs. Some Dude. The district is the more Republican of the two House districts, so edge to Republican Mark Anderson. There is a similar story in 9B. Republican Ron Kresha is an unknown businessman. On the DFL side, there is a living breathing office holder in the form of Pierz City Counselman Adrian Welle. This is the more DFL of the two districts, and locally is really closely divided. I don't know enough about the intricacies of this race to really lean one way or another
Senate: Lean R
House A: Likely R
House B: Toss-up

District 10: Another new district: This is a really marginal one. With Aitkin leaning D, and Crow Wing leaning R. In the senate, there are 3 really unimpressive candidates. There are two DFLers and one Republican. Carrie Ruud, the Republican, is running on a culture warrior platform. This plays well in some areas, but this may not be one of them. But until the matchup is finalized in August, we really won't know who should come out on top in the Senate. John Ward, the Representative in 10A is in good position against a Some Dude(tte). 10A is the more Republican of the two districts, but Ward has been representing the Brainerd area for 3 terms already. Over in the more DFL 10B, there is a name that popped out of NOWHERE, former Senator David Schaaf, the former chairman of the Government Operations committee is running for State House. Now, Schaaf was last seen in St. Paul in 1980(!). He is only in his mid 60s now, but this get was quite the coup for the DFL, and likely puts this one out of reach for Republicans
Senate: Toss-up
House A: Likely D
House B: Likely D

District 11: This district is based south of Duluth. The northern part of the district has a decidedly Iron Range flavor, and the southern portion is North Woods, but no Iron Range (picture the Venn diagram). The DFL is absolutely dominant in Carlton County, and has a fair presence in the southern part of this district as well. In the senate, Tony Lourey won't have any trouble. I heard that I am somehow related to him through marriage or something, but I don't know him well. On the House side, there are two open seats. In 11A, it is going to go to the winner of the DFL primary. In 11B, with the retirement of Bill Hilty, it becomes more competitive. The district still has a natural leftward lean, but it is certainly within reach for a Republican now.
Senate: Safe D
House A: Safe D
House B: Lean D

District 12: This is old school Farmer Labor country, specifically from the Farmer faction. This is Peterson Country.  Currently, this is one area that the DFL prospects dim as time goes on. Politics isn't a zero sum game, but as the DFL gains in some of the suburbs, the "F" faction of the DFL is dying off. Boy Wonder (can I say that even though he is nearly 40?) Torrey Westrom is looking for a promotion to the senate. Westrom was first elected to the House in 1996, at the ripe old age of 23. Westrom is a prohibitive favorite in the senate race. Oh yea, he is completely blind, and has been for his whole life. On the House side in 12A, Elbow Lake mayor Jay McNamer (DFL) is running against Brandon City Counselman Scott Dutcher. Elbow Lake is twice the size of Brandon, although neither is terribly large. The IP is running a candidate here that I know nothing about. There are too many variables to really make a good judgment yet. 12B is much much much more Republican than 12A, and Paul Anderson hasn't done anything to upset voters. He is safe
Senate: Likely R
House A: Toss-up
House B: Safe R

District 13: This is more farm county surrounding St. Cloud. This should be Republican turf, and for the most part it is. However there is a guy by the name of Larry Hosch that doesn't believe it, and he won in spite of this. Unfortunately, Hosch has hung it up (for now). He is young, aggressive, and an 8 year member despite being the ripe old age of 34. He will be back in politics I am sure, but it won't be this cycle. Senate President Michelle Fischbach is in no danger. And neither is freshman Representative Tim O'Driscoll
Senate: Safe R
House A: Likely R
House B: Safe R

District 14: Republicans are not going to be pleased with this. Republicans pray and pray that St. Cloud will be diluted among the local Republican areas. That didn't happen. In the Senate Tarryl Clark chose to continue with her kamikaze mission to Congress instead of taking out Senator John Peterson. Instead, Peterson drew Some Dude level opposition. This is not safe for Peterson, but this makes it a lot harder for the DFL to take him out. In 14A, Steven Gottwalt (GOP) is a strong incumbent in a marginal center-rightdistrict. This district really does not resemble his current district, even though the lines didn't change much on a map, where the lines land matter here.  In 14B, King Banaian (yes, that is his REAL name) is facing a tough reelection bid in an unfriendly district. Banaian is facing a young untested opponent, but Zach Dorholt is getting a surprising amount of institutional backing. I am cautiously optimistic about this race, if for no other reason the political leanings of St. Cloud proper
Senate: Likely R
House A: Safe R
House B: Toss-up

District 15: This is a Republican area, and the DFL didn't put up any strong candidates. Brown, Newberger, and O'Neill are all going to win in walks
Senate: Safe R
House A: Safe R
House B: Safe R

District 16: This is basically a southern bank Minnesota River Valley district, and it really can't be compared to the old districts, so it's basically new. 16 A is ancestrally DFL, but is represented by a Republican. Marty Siefert represented this area for a while, so it is certainly not adverse to Republicans. The DFL scored another big candidate from another era here. Former Representative Ted Suss is looking to make a comeback after a 34 year sabbatical. He will take on freshman Republican Gary Dahms. This is friendly turf for Dahms, so he SHOULD win, but Suss keeps it from being safe. It should be noted that Suss initially declared to run in 16A, but upon the death of Gary Kubly, and the drawing of the new districts, he went for senate instead. The DFL didn't put up any strong candidates for either House seat, so Swedzinski and Torkelson are safe.
Senate: Likely R
House A: Safe R
House B: Safe R

District 17: We cross the river to the north side of the Minnesota River here. This is substantially more DFL leaning than the southern bank. In the senate, this will have one of the marquee matchups of the cycle. Lyle Koenen, who was a state representative before winning the special election to replace the late Gary Kubly. This race will go down to the wire, even though the district leans DFL slightly, Gimse is not one of the weak freshmen Republicans swept in with the 2010 tide. 29 year-old 2-term incumbent rep. Andrew Falk (DFL) is running for reelection against a Some Dude candidate. He is safe in the more DFL friendly of the two House seats. In the other (evenly divided) 17B, freshman Bruce Vogel is running for reelection against Jessica Rohloff. Rohloff has a primary, but she will win it handily. This is one of the other districts the IP is playing a part by nominating 24-year old Zach Liebl. Leibl doesn't have a resume to speak of, but the IP line in Minnesota is usually good for a handful of percentage points even if no one has ever heard of you. I suspect the winner will be a plurality decision, with the winner TBD.
Senate: Toss-up
House A: Likely D
House B: Toss-up

District 18: This is where the exurbs meet the cornfields. This is prime Republican territory. One interesting candidate threw her hat in the ring, and that is DNC member and 1998 DFL candidate for State Auditor Nancy Larson in 18A. 18A is the slightly less blood red of the two. Still, it won't be enough to unseat Dean Urdahl from his 10-year perch.
Senate: Safe R
House A: Safe R
House B: Safe R

District 19: This is a district the Republicans tried to eliminate. The courts didn't slice and dice, and left Mankato with representation. All 3 incumbents are DFLers, and all 3 were elected at the same time in 2006 and have been reelected with little difficulty since. I was hoping that Republicans would pump some money into these races to deplete their limited resources, but alas, Senator Sheran and Representative Morrow didn't even draw Republican opponents. And Representative Brynaert drew a Some Dude opponent in the Mankato-proper district.
Senate: Safe D
House A:  Safe D
House B:  Safe D

District 20. The northern portion of this district is some far flung exurbs(A), and the southern part (B) is actually DFL leaning farmland. Overall the senate district should be Republican, but this area had a DFL senator 2 years ago in Kevin Dahle, and he is running for his old job back in an open seat. The Republicans nominated an interesting candidate here in FBI agent Mike Dudley. This race should prove to be interesting, depending on how things shake out. Kelby Woodard won a nailbiter 37-vote victory over David Bly in 2010. Interestingly, Kelby has been rewarded with a more Republican version of this district. Incidentally, this drew Bly into a more DFL friendly version of the district. Neither Woodard nor Bly drew serious opposition in their respective races.
Senate: Toss-up
House A:  Likely R
House B: Likely D

District 21: This is very marginal Republican territory overall. The DFL really didn't get any great candidates here. The districts are not out of reach conceptually, but it would take a DFL wave to take any of them.
Senate: Likely R
House A: Likely R
House B: Likely R

District 22: This is old school DFL farmer  territory, but some of the areas have shifted  intensely the other direction. The senate race should be interesting with a mayor-v-mayor matchup in Worthington mayor Alan Oberloh taking on former Luverne mayor Bill Weber. Worthington is the largest city in the district, with Luverne being 1/3 its size. But, the district is now Republican leaning, which should put Weber over the top. Neither Republican representative drew serious opponents.
Senate: Lean R.
House A: Safe R
House B: Safe R

District 23: This is the south-central Minnesota district along the Iowa border. 21 A is one of the most Republican districts in Outstate Minnesota.  23B would have been competitive simply based on Tony Cornish being a very unpleasant human being. But the DFL didn't put up a candidate in the district, the only such empty DFL slot in all of outstate Minnesota. Interestingly, a guy by the name of Paul Marquardt is running for the DFL on the senate side. Not to be confused with Paul Marquart, the State Representative in District 4B. Marquardt is not a special candidate or anything, but the name was worth mentioning.
Senate: Safe R
House A: Safe R
House B : Safe R

District 24: This is a locally DFL leaning area, with  an open senate seat with Republican Mike Parry trying to take on Tim Walz. I was surprised to see such low-level candidates go for senate, with only Owatana School Board member Vicki Jensen holding political office. Jensen faces Some Dude Vern Swedin in the senate race. 24A has a Republican primary to sort out before we go to November, but none of the candidates really has a good profile to speak of.  Not really sure what to make of that race. Conversely, Patti Fritz (DFL) in 24B is quite popular in her district and she only a drew token Republican opponent.
Senate: Lean DFL
House A:  Toss-up (I reserve the right to change this rating once I find out more about the race)
House B: Likely D

Districts 25 and 26. I do this together, as they are essentially mirror images of each other. 25B and 26A are Rochester, and aren't exactly prime pickup opportunities for the Republicans, although DFL represenative Tina Liebling  in 26A drew a Rochester School Board Member for an opponent. Olmsted County used to be a Republican stronghold, but it has shifted hard and fast towards the DFL recently. 25A and 26B are the surrounding areas around Rochester, and are currently Republican seats. I honestly think that the Republicans will hold on to these two, although Benson is in a much more precarious situation than Quam The reason being is the DFL has other districts with better recruits elsewhere, but they are by no means secure for the decade. As for the senate goes, I think Sanjem is safe, but I don't think Nelson is.
Senate 25: Likely R
Senate 26: Toss-up
House 25A: Likely R
House 25B: Likely D
House 26A: Lean R
House 26B: Likely D

Districts 27. This is part of the Southern Minnesota DFL strong area. It is a lot like eastern Iowa in that regards. I like to give the benefit of the doubt to incumbents, but Murray is in a really tough spot for the Republican to live. Sparks is young energetic and popular in the senate.
Senate:  Safe DFL
House A: Toss-up
House B: Safe DFL

District 28: this is the other part of the southern Minnesota DFL area. The GOP wave hit here hard, and brought in a couple Republicans in a tough area for Republicans to be. It would take another 2010 to repeat that performance, and I just don't see that in the cards. In an open seat situation, these would all be likely DFL seats. But incumbency matters.  Pelowski is in 28A, and has been since the mid-80s
Senate: Toss-up
House A: Safe DFL
House B: Toss-up.

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Comment Preferences

  •  To keep a tally (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bgblcklab1, slacks, ArkDem14, Patteroast

    The senate with these projections (thus far) is

    The house with these projections (thus far) is

    Obviously this is an incomplete list, as the majority of the districts (and the people) are in the metro, which will be covered in the next diary.

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks for this!

  •  20 Senate (0+ / 0-)

    What do you think the chances are that Northfield (i.e. Carleton and St. Olaf) presidential election year turnout might put our senate candidate over the top? Are the southern exurbs in Scott just going to be too much to overcome? Always have an interest in the district of the alma matter...

    OH-1 (born and raised ), MN-2 (college), CA-53 (grad school), IA-2 (postdoc)

    by aamail6 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:57:24 PM PDT

  •  Thoughts..... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Minnesota Mike, ArkDem14, OGGoldy, WisJohn

    1A--It was a fluke Democrat Dave Olin held this one.  With Roseau County as the population center, it was no surprise at all that this one swung GOP...and I expect it'll stay there with Fabian

    1B--Kiel's fate her probably depends a lot on coattails from the Presidential race.  If either Romney or Obama decides to run ads in the North Dakota media markets.  If one does and the other doesn't, it's likely it'll have an impact downballot on a race like this.  

    2A--With Presidential election turnout at Red Lake, I wouldn't rule out a Democratic upset here.

    2B--I'm not quite as confident as you about Sailer here.  Mahnomen County has only 5,500 people and it's her only real base under these lines.  You know more about the caliber of her opponents than I do though.

    5A, 5B--I had no idea so many incumbents were being mashed together here.  Where in 5A is Howes from?  Looking at the grid, with the Cass County portion of 5A largely being the Leech Lake Indian Reservation, it's hard to see how Howes could win.

    8--Um, "Some Dude" Dan Skogen was the DFL Senator from this district from 2006-2010.  He's anything but a "Some Dude".  Ingibretsen is not controversial to my knowledge and since he's an incumbent he's no pushover, but Skogen is hardly a laughing matter here.  

    9A, 9B--Yuck!  Just an ugly map.  This area is trending hard away from the DFL.  Mary Ellen Otremba might be able to win 9A if she came out of retirement but she'd be our only possible option here.

    10A, 10B--Impressive recruit with Schaaf, but I wonder how many people remember him.  As for Carrie Ruud, she was a House member from the old 4B in the 2000s.  I wouldn't underestimate her.

    11B--Isn't Tim Faust running here again for the DFL?  If so, I like his chances.  Pine County is still pretty DFL at the local level, but it's slipping away a little even there.

    12--This is still pretty good old-school Farmer-Labor territory...the only problem is the district is growing in size so much that it's gobbling up Republican areas around Alexandria that were never part of the Farmer-Labor coalition.  I like the Democrats' chances with those 12A lines.  The Senate race is out of reach with Westrom running though.

    13A--Any idea why Hosch got out?

    15--Sad to see this area being declared so impenetrably Republican.  Twenty years ago, it was nothing of the sort.

    16--Only the northern part of 16A is ancestrally Dem.  Marshall has been a Republican enclave since the Republican Party first existed and the city itself represents about 40% of the district.  Sad to see DFL Lac qui Parle County put in with Redwood Falls and New Ulm.  I can't imagine a scenario where Democrats win anything in these three races.

    17--Gotta say I'm leaning Koenen here.  Renville County will probably be the tiebreaker.

    20, 20B--Bly should finally be able to have a House district he can routinely hold with those district lines, but this is gonna be a tough Senate race for Dahle....basically 20,000 Northfield Democrats versus 50,000 exurban Republicans.

    22--Worthington has a rotten reputation in southwest Minnesota.  Being the mayor there is not gonna do Oberloh any favors here.  Unless Jim Vickerman comes out of retirement, I don't think the DFL will get the southwest corner back.

    23--Two Paul Marquardts in the House?  Interesting concept.  I used to work in this district and long ago there was a Marquardt Chevy dealership in St. James.  I'm guessing it's the same family although it's extremely surprising to hear they're Democrats.

    24--Locally DFL leaning?  This area's been rock-ribbed Republican since the Civil War.  Owatonna practically defines Republicanism.  The DFL somehow managed to pick up a House seat here and hold it with Kory Kath, but I'm doubtful another DFLer could hold it.  And why do you think Mike Parry's Senate seat is Lean D?  I would bet heavily on any Republican in this Senate race, even a Some Dude.  Patti Fritz hung on by one point in 2010, but that's before she inherited the most Republican precincts in Dodge County and lost Blooming Prairie, the small city that saved her ass in two elections she would have otherwise lost.  Stick a fork in Patti Fritz this year I think.  This district is like what North Dakota was up until 2010, represented by Democrats as a fluke and on borrowed time.

    27--I grew up in this district.  It's a decadeslong union stronghold which is why it's mostly DFL.  The DFL candidate for 27A is Wells Mayor Shannon Savick and I have no idea at all how good of a candidate she'll be.  Albert Lea is the population center of the district though, so she has her work cut out for her to build up her name ID there.  Murray has cut a pretty respected profile for himself in this district as a moderate, but he's made a couple of moves that could cost him here, such as supporting right-to-work.  Very much a toss-up race.

    Thanks for your effort on the idea.  We definitely disagree most on the races in District 24.

    •  Allow me a rebuttal (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, Mark27

      On just a few of your points.

      5-- Yea, this district was jaw dropping to see how they managed to draw together so many incumbents together in a relatively compact district

      8-- I am embarrassed to have missed this one. I knew Skogen was a senator, but it didn't click to me when I wrote this. Given the area, I wasn't thinking "The DFL used to represent this area"

      10-- Ruud was a 1-term wonder in a district drawn in the 1990s. I don't believe that district resembled anything like the current district 10. Aitkin County will kneejerk against the holy warrior campaign, and there aren't enough Republicans in Crow Wing to afford them the luxury of being destroyed in Aitkin, Hill City, and McGregor

      11B--Faust is running here. I should have mentioned that. But Faust is no Bill Hilty when it comes to electoral prowess

      13A-- No idea why Hosch decided to hang it up. His district wasn't dismantled in redistricting, and he wasn't double bunked

      17-- If Gimse were a random tea tainted candidate swept in in 2010, I would agree with you. But Gimse is a seasoned politician that won in 2006 in spite of the strong headwind.

      23-- Marquart vs. Marquardt. Not that the D makes a substantially difference, but it is a difference.

      24-- I do think we fundamentally disagree here. Between Fritz and Kath, they have held down the Owatana area for the DFL for a few years now, and both survived the 2010 wave. Yes, this is Dick Day country, but Owatana's ancestral Republican shell is starting to show chinks in the armor. The same thing happens with the DFL in other parts of the state, and with Republicans just down the road in Rochester, which used to be THE Republican population center.

      •  Some of the Most Interesting Matchups In Some Time (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        .....and your district 5 may be the marquee races of the cycle, at least outstate.

        I still have no idea how Skogen won here in 2006 when even Amy Klobuchar was not.  He's still the underdog against Ingibretsen I'd say though.

        Faust's advantage in the new 11B is that the district is inheriting new DFL territory in northern Pine County and shedding GOP territory in western Kanabec and nothern Isanti Counties.  Who's the GOP guy running here?  I know Faust got beat in 2010 but I'm wondering if the guy who beat him is still running in 11B.

        Gimse's no pushover without a doubt.  Koenen really needs to push hard in Renville County for this race.  That's where the race will be won or lost, and it's an area where he hasn't dominated in his old district.  If Renville County is as weak for Koenen as it was in the special election earlier this year, then Gimse definitely wins.

        Bob Gunther is still in the House in 23A, right?  He was my legislator when I worked in St. James.  Odd mix of nice guy and smartass.  He knew I was a Democrat so he got his share of ribbing in, mostly good-natured.

        Not sure what Kath's secret in 24A, but after surviving last year I'm convinced he's the real deal.  I'll concede there's a softening of GOP dominance in 24 overall and said so in my county-by-county profile in April, but I maintain that it's basically the Dakotas' Congressional delegations of 2002 where we are defying gravity by electing Democrats.  Under the new district lines, it's only a matter of time until Patti Fritz is felled.  She may win this year if the competition is weak but she's living on borrowed time.  Blooming Prairie was the margin of difference for her in both 2004 and 2010, and it's now been replaced by northwestern Dodge County.  Very tough map for a DFLer who won by one point under the old map.

        Thanks for responding.

    •  ahem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Owatonna practically defines Republicanism.
      Does that mean Owl City is a Republican? :(

      Male, currently staying in Osaka-01. Voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

      by sapelcovits on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 05:47:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama/McCain districts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14, OGGoldy, Mark27

    FWIW Obama won 40 of the 67 new Senate Districts and 80 of the 134 new House districts according to DRA (my numbers may be slightly off due to split precincts but they should be pretty close)..

    •  Between Obama and Klobuchar (0+ / 0-)

      and the sad state of the Republican party there, I think the legislature should have be a wave year for Democrats.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:23:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I do believe that is the correct statistic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But I also believe I read that Tom Emmer won something like 35 Senate seats and 75 House seats.

  •  Excitedly waiting for the metro edtion! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14, OGGoldy

    Former Sen. Steve Murphy (DFL-Red Wing) was on Almanac last week, and said that he was running again. Unless he moved to the metro, he is probably running in SD- 21 again. He could beat John Howe.

    Farm boy who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -7.88, -4.26,

    by WisJohn on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:12:45 AM PDT

  •  Another Possible Complication In Districts..... (0+ / 0-)

    ....1,2 , and 4 is the Crystal Sugar lockout tearing apart communities.  The Moorhead area has largely become as Democratic as its become since sugar growers and refinery workers had a mutual interest in protectionism for sugar facilitated by anti-trade Democrats.  Will this coalition stand even with yearlong labor dispute?  Or will the DFL lose some support from one faction or the other?  Could make the difference in a handful of legislative districts.

    •  Moorhead (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Yes, the Crystal Sugar lockout is a BFD. However, Moorhead is much more than one plant. This is different than let's say Austin if Hormel had a lockout, or Wilmar if Jenny-O did. Moorhead has a fully functional economy, and 2 universities. Without Lanning, I don't see how a Republican can win Moorhead, with or without the lockout.

  •  28B (0+ / 0-)

    I think that seat has some GOP lean to it considering they lost it in the giant 2006 wave but picked it right back up in 2008.  Davids is a strong incumbent in what should be a blue seat, but what ya gonna do.  It's too bad we really won't have any DFLers left who stick it in the GOP's eye by occupying one of their seats after 2012, as Diedritch and Hosch are both retiring.

    And I'd love to hear more about SD24 being Lean DFL as that is one seat I can't put my finger on.  Mike Parry is so far too the right, and then both state house seats are held by DFLers.  It truly shows how local politics can be.  Reminds me of a friend telling me we are going to win SD57 (old SD37, Apple Valley and Rosemount in southern burbs) because we have the Rosemount High School principal running for us in what is a seat Obama will win by a couple points but is quite Republican locally.

    •  That depends on what you call a GOP seat (0+ / 0-)

      There are a number of candidates on this list that could be considered occupying  Republican seats.

      One in the metro is Katie Sieben, who is safe in her perch via her last name. But if that seat were open, who knows? I think the GOP could easily flip it.

  •  District 15A (0+ / 0-)

    District 15A is where Sondra Erickson ended up after redistricting. She was defeated in 2008 by Gail Kulick-Jackson only to retake her seat in the 2010 landslide. There is nobody that I am aware of named O'Neill running in the district.

    The DFL candidate is Joe Walsh ( He is running a strong campaign, yard signs are up throughout the district, and he's out knocking on doors. His presence in the local parades has been impressive for a first time candidate as a separate parade entry.

    Sondra has put her foot squarely in her mouth several times and she is now a 7 term incumbent. People in this area growing increasingly weary of her attitude.

    Where do you get off saying that this 47% DFL performance district-- we won the state house and senate in 2008 in addition to victories from Klobuchar, Oberstar, Otto, Swanson and others--is safe Republican?

    The more unhappy you feel, the more likely you are to do something unwise.

    by kweimann on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:12:53 PM PDT

    •  Let's hope he pulls off an upset (0+ / 0-)

      Joe Walsh of IL style.

      "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

      by KingofSpades on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:31:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I just do not see it (0+ / 0-)

      I really hope that I am wrong in situations like this. but taking on a 7 term incumbent as a rookie politician is not generally a fruitful venture. obama will likely lose this district again, even while Klobuchar will likely win it again. But this is not an area where the DFL is going to do well going forward, ad the exurbs make up the bulk of the district now. there are some seats the DFL lost in 10 that are simply not coming back.

  •  Mankato, the hometown of Tim Walz (0+ / 0-)

    I guess that's a Dem base in MN-01.  Also, will you do an overall breakdown at the end of this series?

    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

    by KingofSpades on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:28:45 PM PDT

    •  define overall? (0+ / 0-)

      right now I am in process of writing part II: metro. I will give a total projection at the end of that diary. I am also now tentatively planning on depleting amended versions if the diary in late October will final projections.

    •  and Mankato is certainly a DFL hotbed in the 1st, (0+ / 0-)

      but there are other areas of the district that supply disproportionately large DFL margins along the Mississippi river. Rochester is actually one if the few areas in the state that is dramatically changing its political leanings.

  •  I showed this to a local DFLer... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and said DFLer's comments ran something like this (I cannot vouch for accuracy):

    This diarist sounds like one of the Iron Range DFLers who didn't see Chip Cravaack coming and who believe that using Cravaack's family's New Hampshire residence (bad) to lie about his presence in the district while fielding weak candidates is a winning strategy.

    Saying things like "Torrey Westrom is blind; has been his whole life" is not how you win friends and influence people in Outstate Minnesota, where people are brought up to be a lot more polite and considerate of one's neighbors than the "macho prog" and somewhat misogynistic elbow-throwing portions of the DFL (both on Da Range and in Da Metro) seems to realize.   Torrey Westrom was blinded in an accident and jokes about his blindness are going to be considered over the line.

    The Koenen-Gimse pair-up? Forgets to mention Lyle Koenen faces a primary from a very strong opponent. If Koenen wins the primary, it's very likely that Gimse takes the seat. Lyle is extremely stupid; he voted FOR the marriage amendment.

    Same goes for the DFL primary in the House; most of the "River Democrats" I know say the unendorsed candidate is the better of the two and has a strong chance of winning.

    Ditto, the assessment of the Oberloh senate race--much of that area was represented by Vickerman for years, and the locals aren't DFL-adverse.

    The one that makes me laugh the hardest is citing Cunniff as having a chance. Yes, Mary Franson is very stupid, but Cunniff and the DFL are playing a horrifically sexist guys-are-smarter-than-broads-and-only-guys-can-have-sex-freely game by having adopted the Eric Harpel narrative about the restraining order (Cunniff has even gone so far as to friend Harpel on Facebook). I've been approached about this by another local who says that all indications are that Harpel is indeed an abusive SOB, so running with Harpel's  "Mary Franson is a drunk slut who needs a man to guide her" storyline will probably blow up in their little sexist faces when the full story (which from the scuttlebutt will be kinder to Franson than Harpel) comes out.

    And the district is much, much more Republican now than when Mary Ellen Otremba held the seat.  

    What else?  

    Characterizing Vicki Jensen as a "weak" candidate is pretty misleading.

    Parry faced a pretty weak candidate in the 2010 regular election--which is why he has any cred at all.  Alex De Marco was a favorite among certain smart guys in Bakk's campaign machine, until they actually saw him in action.

    In District 24, Fritz has always won by narrow margins (or lost, as in the case of 2002)..

    Plus, I think that targeting Jeremy Miller is truly wishful thinking. Ropes is a good person, but she won that race in a three-way contest in 2006.  She has no chance this year.

    Ditto thinking that Ken T. will take back the Davids seat.  No, he won't, and it's because while he's right on most of the issues,  Ken is quite personally unpleasant and a bad neighbor (word is that his cows get out all the time--not a small thing in rural Minnesota since cows in the road are dangerous both to cows and vehicular traffic).   If people are unpleasant, like Davids and Parry, it's important not to run even more unpleasant people against them.

    Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

    by Phoenix Woman on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:30:12 PM PDT

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