Republican storm may leave all trees standing in U.S. House contests

Current delegation partisan split
DFL: 5
Republicans: 3

Incumbents
DFL incumbents: 5
Republican incumbents: 3
Open seats: 0

Analysis
Despite a flurry of national attention early in the election cycle centered around the potential defeat of a Republican U.S. Representative from Minnesota (Michele Bachmann, MN-06), and late in the cycle on the defeat of two DFL incumbents (Tim Walz, MN-01 and Jim Oberstar, MN-08), all eight members of the Gopher State U.S. House delegation are still positioned to win their contests on Tuesday.

While history is full of exceptions, its patterns should give comfort to Representatives Bachmann and Walz – both from the Class of 2006. Two-term incumbents have won 88 percent of their reelection bids in Minnesota history (75 of 85 races), with six of these 10 incumbents defeated after redistricting (election years ending in ‘2’).

Bachmann’s advantages this election cycle are well-known (e.g. fundraising, partisan tilt of district). But while Walz is certain to face a much more competitive race than his previous reelection defense, it is worth knowing that history also says only 8 out of 203 Minnesota U.S. House incumbents have been defeated in the general election after receiving at least 60 percent of the vote during the previous election cycle, as Walz did in 2008.

That factoid also applies to Oberstar, who may be hoping for particularly high turnout among his district’s seniors – those who have voted for him in many past election cycles and may not be as swept away by the surging campaign of Republican Chip Cravaack.

Projections
MN-01. Tim Walz (DFL hold)
MN-02. John Kline (GOP hold)
MN-03. Erik Paulsen (GOP hold)
MN-04. Betty McCollum (DFL hold)
MN-05. Keith Ellison (DFL hold)
MN-06. Michele Bachmann (GOP hold)
MN-07. Collin Peterson (DFL hold)
MN-08. Jim Oberstar (DFL hold)

Partisan shift: No change

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