5 things to watch in every state: Minnesota

This is a state that Donald Trump has said that he would compete in Minnesota.  That’s just not going to happen.  I don’t want to spoil the election for you.  But Trump is not going to win Minnesota.

  1. U.S. House of Representatives, Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District: Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball ratings has this race as a “Lean Democratic” seat.  Republican John Kline won re-election in 2012 with 54% of the vote winning by nearly 30,000 votes over Democrat Mike Obermueller.  They had a rematch in 2014, which was a more conservative year, Kline was able to win re-election by 42,000 votes.  Jason Lewis, a radio host in Minnesota, was able to win the Republican primary for this year when Kline announced he would not seek re-election.  Lewis is a conservative darling but has seen as vulnerable for the general election.  The Democratic Party nominated Angie Craig to run against Lewis.  Craig holds a significant fundraising advantage over Lewis.  In a more Democratic year, it seems like Craig would have a shot at the seat and flip this district.
  2. U.S. House of Representatives, Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District: Sabato’s Crystal Ball only has this race as “leans Republican.”  The most recent polling that I saw has the Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen up by 11.Paulsen won re-election in 2012 with 58% of the vote defeating Democrat Brian Barnes by 63,000 votes.  Paulsen won re-election again in 2014 by 66,000 votes.  I’m not sure how the Crystal Ball only has this as lean Republican but if Democrats are serious about flipping the House, this may be a district that they’re going to blitz for the last week.
  3. Minnesota State Senate District 17: There’s not that may State Senate Districts that are going to have problems for the Democrats who currently hold the State Senate. Democrat Lyle Koenen won re-election to the State Senate in 2012 with 55% of the vote winning the seat by just over 4,000 votes.  He is facing a new challenger in 2016.  Koenen is likely to win re-election in 2016 by a fairly similar margin.
  4. Minnesota State Senate District 44: Democrat Terri Bonoff won re-election to the State Senate in 2012 with 55% of the vote.  Bonoff chose not to seek re-election.  The Democratic Party nominated a new candidate in Deb Calvert and the Republican Party nominated Paul Anderson to run for the seat.  Even though bonoff likely benefitted from an incumbency advantage, it seems likely that Calvert is able to win election to the seat on November 8th.
  5. Minnesota State Senate District 58: In 2012, Republican Dave Thompson won re-election to the state Senate by 6,400 votes.  Thompson chose not to seek re-election in 2016.  The Republican Party nominated Tim Pitcher to run against Democratic Party’s Matt Little for the seat.  Thompson likely was advantaged by incumbency but it’s hard to say that even in a Presidential election year that a Democrat can take the seat.