Welcome to my diary series titled Majority Savers! I will run a new article every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The goal of this series is to highlight races that may make or break our current slender majorities in Congress. That means I will start more with incumbent Senators and House members until some primary elections are settled. If I have time, I will expand it to governors as well in critical swing states.
If you want to find my previous entries in this series, I recommend following me or searching for #MajoritySavers as a tag!
I have six ground rules behind the philosophy of this series. I’d ask you all to respect them as best you can, because these are taking me quite a long time to write. Here are my ground rules.
This incumbent first ran in 2016 and was defeated, but she came back in 2018 and eked out a narrow win. Her 2020 campaign was also a close one, but she stood firm in the end. As Rep. Angie Craig faces the peril of both a marginal district and crucial votes being siphoned off, it is imperative that we support her re-election campaign for Minnesota’s 2nd district!
This isn’t meant to be a full biography of Angie Craig, which can be found on her campaign website. Instead, I am writing the highlights in this section.
- She was raised by a single mother in a trailer in eastern Arkansas with the help of her grandmother. She learned early on never to give up and that grit and determination were key.
- Craig started her adult life as a reporter for the Commercial Appeal after graduating from college with a journalism degree from the University of Memphis.
- She switched careers to human resources at St. Jude Medical from 2005 to 2017, when she first ran for Congress.
Rep. Angie Craig is in the middle of our Democratic caucus, although perhaps a shade more moderate than the typical House member. Her DW Nominate score is -0.309, which indicates a pragmatic liberal voting record. She is more liberal than 63% of the entire House membership, while at the same time she is more conservative than 71% of the Democratic caucus.
Health Care: Angie Craig was the member of Congress who introduced the bill capping insulin at $35 a month. She is a strong proponent of protecting Medicare, the ACA, and Medicaid. She supports a public option expansion for the ACA. She supports increased funding for women’s health care and the right to choose.
LGBTQ+ Issues: As the first lesbian mom elected to Congress, Craig has a unique viewpoint on maternity leave and other issues for the LGBTQ+ community. She has been aghast at the attacks on the community by conservative states and supports encoding many protections offered this community into law.
Agriculture: She supports renewable energy, especially in the form of biofuels and E-15 (required for the district she is in). She is a rare Farm Country politician that agrees that climate change is happening and it is important to address this issue. Finally, she knows from experience that rural farming communities struggle with mental health issues, so she wants to expand access where possible.
Recent Elections —
2020 President: Joe Biden (D) 52.4%, TFG (R-inc) 45.2%
2020 House: Angie Craig (D-inc) 48.2%, Tyler Kistner (R) 45.9%, Adam Weeks (LMN) 5.8%
2022 Race Rating: Tossup
2022 PVI: EVEN
The district in its present form dates back to the 2000 Census, when it was drawn to be a safe Republican district for Rep. John Kline. It functioned this way for nearly two decades, with Kline not being seriously challenged. GW Bush won the district twice by a wide margin, and then Obama very narrowly won the district twice.
Kline retired in 2016, and that gave the DFL their first opening at this seat since its inception. Radio shock jock Jason Lewis narrowly defeated Angie Craig, while TFG very narrowly carried the district. This was the type of suburban district that was ground zero for a backlash to the previous administration, so it was no surprise that Craig won the rematch by a modest margin.
In 2020, it was expected that Craig would cruise while Biden carried the district. Biden did indeed carry the district, but there was a complication in Craig’s re-election campaign. The “pot parties”, as they are colloquially known, gained major party status in 2018. the GQP purposely recruited someone to stand as a candidate for one of these parties to siphon votes away from Craig in 2020. The scheme nearly worked, but Craig won narrowly after litigation kept the election in November.
Political Tour of the District
This district contains many of the southern suburbs and exurbs of the sprawling Twin Cities metro area in Minnesota. As opposed to taking in portions of southeastern Minnesota like in 2010 redistricting, this version of MN-02 takes in farmlands to the southwest of the Twin Cities that are beet red. Luckily, the small city of Northfield remains in the district as well!
Here’s where this race will be won in the 2nd district.
- Twin Cities Suburbs: Many of these suburbs used to vote for Republicans, so they are recent converts to the cause. As the Twins Cities expands, these suburbs, such as Eagan, Shakopee, and Burnsville, all are trending in the Democratic direction. It is important that Craig maintain the levels of support that Biden received if she is to win another term.
- Northfield: This small city is a dot of bright blue in otherwise a sea of hostile farm fields. It is important that the liberal arts colleges found within the city vote heavily for Craig and NOT fall for the “pot parties”. Craig needs a strong showing from Northfield if she is to win another term.
Here’s where we need to keep the margins down, or we lose.
- Twin Cities Exurbs: The furthest out exurbs, such as Lakeville, Farmington, and Hastings are not yet converted to our cause. They are a light red in hue, and it is important that Craig keep these cities somewhat competitive. If they bounce back too far to the GQP, Craig will not win another term.
- Farm Country: Once you get outside of the Twin Cities metro area, the voters become very hostile to the Democratic Party. If these voters turnout at a higher rate than the suburbs, Craig will have all sorts of issues in staying in office. There’s no hope in converting them to our cause at the present moment.
- “Pot Parties”: Not only must Craig watch out for Kistner, she has to watch out for a “pot party” third party spoiler. One LMN Party spoiler is running yet again, and that candidate will take away crucial votes from Craig. The margins for the “pot party” spoiler must be kept to a minimum if she is to survive.
Activism — Help How You Can!
Thankfully, Rep. Angie Craig is a fundraising dynamo. She raised an outstanding $1 MILLION dollars in Quarter 1 of 2022, which is over double what Tyler Kistner raised in the same time frame. Unfortunately, dark money will likely make up the gap in the fundraising, so Craig cannot rest on her laurels yet.
Craig is also sitting on a stockpile of campaign cash. Craig has a grand total of $3.68 MILLION cash on hand, which should go far, even in the pricy Twin Cities media market. Her GQP opponent Tyler Kistner doesn’t even have $500k on hand, which means that he will be relying on dark money to prop him up until he hauls in better totals. Craig will need a bit more money, but not much!
DONATE TO REP. ANGIE CRAIG HERE
If you are in the Twin Cities area, this is a great opportunity to volunteer with. Not only will you be helping a vulnerable member of the House, but also the governor in Tim Walz at the same time. GO to https://angiecraig.com/ to sign up for canvassing, text banking, or other volunteer activities!
Craig has a healthy 21.8k followers on Twitter, likely built up from previous competitive runs for this district. She could always use another follower in you, however!
Craig is also active on Facebook at AngieCraigforCongress, and she also is on Instagram at acraigcd2.
I am almost through my original list of 28 Majority Savers. Rep. Angie Craig is the 23rd different race I have chosen to highlight! Her race is critical in order to keep the House of Representatives. She is used to tough races, so I doubt she will be caught slacking this year. However, if the political environment goes sour, she could be in for a very long night. Thank you for reading!
Raphael Warnock Dr. Yadira Caraveo Frank Mrvan, Jr. Cheri Beasley
Emilia Sykes Catherine Cortez Masto Dr. Kim Schrier Cindy Axne
Jared Golden Dan Kildee Elaine Luria Greg Stanton
Lauren Underwood Susie Lee Matt Cartwright Maggie Hassan
Greg Landsman Tom O’Halleran Don Davis Sharice Davids
Marcy Kaptur Vicente Gonzalez