The Corner

Politics & Policy

Minnesota Is Next Year’s Biggest Election Battleground

Assuming Al Franken resigns from the Senate, Minnesota is going to have two Senate elections next year. The state will also be electing a new governor, since incumbent Democrat Mark Dayton is not running again. Minnesota hasn’t had simultaneous elections for these three offices since 1978.

The state has several competitive House races, too. Roll Call’s list of the ten most vulnerable incumbents in the House includes two Minnesotans; the Cook Political Report includes three Minnesota seats among the 21 it considers “toss-ups.” Those three include two seats held by Democrats and one held by a Republican. Another seat not on either list, the one held by Republican Erik Paulsen, could generate a real race too: It went for the Democrats in the presidential race in each of the last three elections. Minnesota will also be holding elections for the state house, where Republicans currently hold a majority.

One of the statewide races seems to be nearly a lock for the Democrats: Senator Amy Klobuchar should have an easy re-election. The other Senate race should be more competitive, especially if former Governor Tim Pawlenty is the Republican candidate to replace Franken.

While Minnesota has not gone for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972, it has been shifting to the right. Judged by its presidential-vote margin, it was the second-lightest-blue state in the country in 2016. If next year’s elections turn out to be a national Democratic wave, however, that trend won’t save the state’s Republicans.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Immigration

The Left, the Wall, the Truth

Democrats and others on the left offer three reasons for their opposition to building a wall on America's southern border. 1. A wall is ineffective. 2. A wall is too expensive. 3. A wall is immoral. Each one is false, so false as to constitute lies. So, the only question is: Do Democrats and others on ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Joys of Heterogeneity

The temporary shutdown of parts of the federal government is a good argument for the permanent shutdown of parts of the federal government. When one of his colleagues voiced frustration with the slow pace of conservative reform in the 1990s, Newt Gingrich replied, “Rome wasn’t burned in a day.” That’s ... Read More