Besides Obama, Minn. Democrats didn't make any strides

Categories: Elections

While Minnesotans were out celebrating Barack Obama's win, Minnesota Congressional candidates didn't do so well. Obama's coattails just weren't long enough it seems. We'd like to know how many people just voted for president and then turned their ballot in. We know those judge bubbles were tough, but come on! The front page wasn't so hard.

Democratic incumbents won back their seats last night, but there were no gains for the U.S. House or Senate. Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Jim Oberstar and Collin Peterson all won relection. Incumbent Republican John Kline also won.

The hard-fought battles in Minnesota's third and sixth districts stayed Republican. Erik Paulsen won the seat of retiring Rep. Jim Ramstad after an expensive and competitive race against Ashwin Madia. Rep. Michele Bachmann won reelection despite a tough battle against Elwyn Tinklenberg in the last month after her Hardball interview where she asked the media to witch hunt "Anti-American" members of Congress.

And while the Senate race in Minnesota is still undecided, Franken is down more than 700 votes.

Our races look much different than others across the country. There are 11 seats not called across the country and the Democrats gained close to 20 seats so far.

In the Minnesota House, Democrats kept their majority, but didn't reach the veto-proof majority to overrule Gov. Tim Pawlenty, according to the Associated Press.

And that record turnout Minnesota was hoping for? We got close but didn't top 80 like we had hoped, according to the Associated Press.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said he wanted to get "80 in '08" -- meaning 80 percent of eligible voters.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, it appeared that about 2.9 million people cast ballots. With about 3.71 million eligible voters, that's about 77.5 percent turnout.

Minnesota hit 83 percent turnout in 1956 to reelect Dwight D. Eisenhower.


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