United States House of Representatives elections in Minnesota, 2008
|Elections in Minnesota|
The 2008 Minnesota U.S. House of Representatives elections took place on November 4, 2008. All 8 congressional seats that make up the state's delegation were contested. Representatives are elected for two-year terms; those elected will serve in the 111th United States Congress from January 4, 2009 until January 3, 2011.
The 2008 Presidential election, 2008 Senate election (for the seat held by Republican Norm Coleman), and 2008 Minnesota Legislature elections occurred on the same date, as well as many local elections and ballot initiatives.
The 110th congressional delegation from the U.S. state of Minnesota has 3 Republicans and 5 Democratic Farmer Labor Party members (DFLers). Six are men; 2 are women. Three were freshmen in the 110th congress. The veterans range in experience from Jim Oberstar with 32 years of experience and the chairman of the Transportation Committee to John Kline with just four years of experience.
|United States House of Representatives elections in Minnesota, 2008|
This district extends across southern Minnesota from the border with South Dakota to the border of Wisconsin. DFLer Tim Walz defeated 6-term veteran Republican Gil Gutknecht in 2006 in somewhat of a surprise victory. Walz had no opponent in the race for the DFL nomination for the seat in the September 12, 2006 primary election. He beat incumbent Republican Gil Gutknecht in the general election by a margin of 53% to 47%. The popular Walz is a former teacher and Command Sergeant Major in the National Guard. The district is rated as an R+1 on the CPVI scale. Incumbent Tim Walz was opposed by Brian Davis, a Mayo Clinic physician, who was endorsed by the CD1 Republican Party and Independence Party of Minnesota candidate, Greg Mikkelson. CQ Politics forecast the race as 'Leans Democratic'. Walz won the 2008 race, garnering 62.5% of the vote.
|DFL||Tim Walz (inc.)||207,753||62.50|
|Republican||Brian J. Davis||109,453||32.93|
This district spans the width of the entire southern metro area and contains all of Carver, Scott, Le Sueur, Goodhue and Rice Counties and most of Dakota County. Republican John Kline held on to the second district seat in 2006, defeating DFL challenger, former FBI agent, Coleen Rowley. The district leans Republican with a CPVI of R+3, and Kline's unwavering support for Bush and the Iraq War did not make him too vulnerable to a challenger in 2008. On October 4, 2007, Iraq War veteran Steve Sarvi announced he would challenge Kline for the seat. His experience also includes being mayor of Watertown, Minnesota and city administrator for Victoria, Minnesota. He believed that a change in U.S. policy in Iraq was needed. On May 3, Sarvi was endorsed by the 2nd District DFL party. Sarvi was also endorsed by the Independence Party of Minnesota. CQ Politics forecast the race as 'Republican Favored'. Kline won the 2008 race, garnering 57.3% of the vote.
|Republican||John Kline (inc.)||220,924||57.29|
This district encompasses the suburbs of Hennepin County to the north, west, and south of Minneapolis. Republican 9-term incumbent Jim Ramstad announced on September 17, 2007 that he would not seek reelection in 2008. Erik Paulsen, a Republican who was the majority leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives when the Republicans held a majority was opposed by DFLer, Ashwin Madia who is an Iraq War veteran. David Dillon of the Independence Party of Minnesota (campaign website) and Harley Swarm of the Constitution Party (campaign website) also competed. The district is rated as an R+1 on the CPVI scale, indicating a district that could swing toward either party. CQ Politics forecast the race as 'No Clear Favorite'. Paulsen won the 2008 race, garnering 48.5% of the vote.
This district covers most of Ramsey County including all of Saint Paul and several Saint Paul suburbs. It is held by the solidly progressive 4-term DFLer, Betty McCollum. The district is rated a secure D+13 on the CPVI scale, posing a formidable barrier to any potential Republican challengers. Ed Matthews, an attorney, was the Republican candidate. CQ Politics forecast the race as 'Safe Democratic'. McCollum won the 2008 race, garnering 68.4% of the vote.
|DFL||Betty McCollum (inc.)||216,267||68.44|
This district covers eastern Hennepin County, including the entire city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, along with parts of Anoka and Ramsey counties. With the 2007 retirement of Martin Sabo, the opportunity presented itself for Keith Ellison to compete for Sabo's seat against several aspirants. He is the first African American U.S. Representative from Minnesota and the first Muslim member of the U.S. Congress. Like McCollum, Ellison is also a solidly progressive legislator, which is in keeping with the district, rating D+21 on the CPVI scale. He was challenged by Republican Barb Davis White, a minister, author, and civil rights activist. The Independence Party of Minnesota candidate was Bill McGaughey. CQ Politics forecast the race as 'Safe Democratic'.
|DFL||Keith Ellison (inc.)||228,776||70.88|
|Republican||Barb Davis White||71,020||22.00|
This district includes most or all of Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, Wright, Anoka, and Washington counties. First-term Republican Michele Bachmann won a hard-fought battle against Patty Wetterling in 2006, with the help of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney campaigning on her behalf and a multimillion-dollar warchest. With a CPVI of R+5, the district posed an uphill battle for the DFL challenger, former state transportation commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg (DFL). On April 26, 2008, the 6th District DFL endorsed Tinklenberg for this race, as did the Independence Party of Minnesota although Bob Anderson was running as an INDC candidate.
Bachmann's charges about "anti-American views" shifted the political dynamics of this campaign, giving a lift to Tinklenberg's candidacy and attracting $1.3 million in new contributions, plus $1 million from the DNC. At the same time the RNC withdrew media buys on behalf of Bachmann. CQ Politics changed its forecast from 'Republican Favored' to 'Leans Republican' on October 20, and then to 'No Clear Favorite' on October 28. The Cook Political Report then rated it as 'Republican Toss Up'. Despite the controversy, Bachmann won the 2008 race, garnering 46.4% of the vote to Tinklenberg's 43.4% and Anderson's 10%.
|Source||Date||Tinklenberg (D)||Bachmann (R)||Anderson (I)|
|Minnesota Public Radio||October 24, 2008||45%||43%||5%|
|SurveyUSA||October 24, 2008||47%||44%||6%|
|SurveyUSA||October 10, 2008||38%||42%||5%|
|Republican||Michele Bachmann (inc.)||187,817||46.41|
This district covers almost all of the western side of Minnesota from the Canada–US border down to Lincoln County and is the largest district in the state. As chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, 9-term DFLer Collin Peterson is at home in his mostly-agricultural district. Although the district leans Republican with a CPVI of R+6, Peterson's social conservatism and farmer/labor DFL values serve him well in his district. He won with 70% of the vote in 2006. Republican Glen Menze challenged Peterson. CQ Politics forecast the race as 'Safe Democratic'.
|DFL||Collin Peterson (inc.)||227,187||72.20|
This district covers the northeastern part of Minnesota and includes Duluth, Hibbing, and the Mesabi Range. Seventeen-term veteran DFLer, Jim Oberstar is Minnesota's senior representative. In 2006, former Republican U.S. Senator Rod Grams challenged Oberstar, garnering 34% of the vote. In 2008, 74-year-old Oberstar maintained his popularity among his constituency. The district leans Democratic with a CPVI of D+4 owing to the loyalty of miners, loggers, and farmers to the DFL. Republican, Michael Cummins ran against Oberstar. On May 3, 2008, the 8th District DFL endorsed Oberstar for another term. CQ Politics forecast the race as 'Safe Democratic'.
|DFL||Jim Oberstar (inc.)||241,831||67.69|
- Felker, Ed (2007-01-05). "Walz pledges new direction in capital". Post-Bulletin Company, LLC. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
- "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". The Campaign Legal Center. Retrieved 2007-03-30.
- "Election results: Minnesota: U.S. House". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
- "Rep. Kline agrees with Iraq assessment". Minnesota Public Radio. 2007-09-11. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
- "Iraq war vet to challenge Kline in Minnesota's 2nd District". Minnesota Public Radio. 2007-10-04. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- "DFL Party Congratulates Steve Sarvi on MN-2 Endorsement". Mn DFL Party. 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2008-05-04.
- Fred Frommer, Fred (2007-09-17). "Ramstad announces his retirement from Congress". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- "Democrat Bonoff to run for Congress in 3rd District". Minnesota Public Radio. 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
- "Constitution Party Endorses Candidate".
- "Barb Davis White for Congress". Archived from the original on 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
- Anderson, Jr., G.R. (October 4, 2006). "The Chosen One". City Pages. 27 (1348). City Pages (Minneapolis).
- "Bachmann retains 6th District seat for GOP". Minnesota Public Radio. 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
- "Candidates lining up in the 6th, 3rd Congressional Districts". Minnesota Public Radio. 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
- Lien, Dennis; Rachel E. Stassen-Berger (2008-10-22). "National GOP committee pulls money from Bachmann". TwinCities.com. Retrieved 2008-10-28.
- 2008 Competitive House Race Chart The Cook Political Report, October 20, 2008
- Election Center from the Minnesota Secretary of State
- Minnesota U.S. House Races from 2008 Race Tracker
- Campaign contributions for Minnesota congressional races from OpenSecrets.org