Minnesota Legislative Race Ratings – Senate Edition
With three weeks to go till election day, it’s about time for me to do some Legislative Race Ratings!
You can just scroll down to the bottom now and check out what I’ve rated your pet race and then come back up here and read this preamble, which I suspect will be at least a few hundred words. Or not. Your choice.
This is my second time doing race ratings of Minnesota legislative elections, the first time being in 2010. Here are links to my Senate ratings and House ratings from that cycle. I used a Safe/Tilt/Toss-up ratings scale and prior to the election I rated the Senate seats as 31 total DFL seats (Safe+Tilt), 19 total GOP seats and 17 Toss-ups.
The GOP won all 19 seats I had them winning. They also won every single race I had listed as a toss-up. They also won a race I had listed as Tilt DFL, the Don Betzold – Pam Wolf race. Clearly 2010 was a wave year for the GOP.
That said, I don’t think my ratings did particularly bad especially since there was no sort of adjustment incorporated to account for the broader political context of the election.
As with my previous foray into race ratings I’ve kept this years version to an entirely numbers based exercise. Meaning at no point is a race rating the way it is because I made a subjective judgement about the quality of a candidate.
In fact, the only measures of candidate quality, and they may or may not actually be measures of candidate quality, that are considered in these ratings are fundraising and incumbency.
Based on the research I’ve done on past legislative elections in Minnesota the quantitative aspects that have shown to have the most predictive value, each to varying degrees, are a districts partisan fundamentals, fundraising and incumbency.
It’s clear that the broader political context in which an election takes place is a key element as well. But since publicly available generic legislative ballot polls have been virtually non existent in Minnesota until this cycle, I have no way of knowing to what degree these have actually effected past elections.
This year seems to be rather neutral though, with no apparent wave coming from either side, so that’s probably less of an issue than it turned out to be in 2010.
To arrive at these ratings I take those three factors for which I have an idea how they have effected elections in the past and boil them down into a metric or adjustment and add them all together. The result of that is a number that fits into the Safe – Likely – Lean – Toss-up spectrum.
No doubt there are cases to be made that candidate x is working y times harder than candidate z, so they are totally going to win. That candidate w is so bad and so despised by their constituents that they are sure to lose. None of those things can be easily quantified though, and the approach I’m utilizing is one based entirely on things which can be.
With that out of the way, we can move onto the actual Race Ratings (if you haven’t already). The table below totals the Ratings, which are found even further below, into their respective categories sorted by party. The All category adds all the Safe/Likely/Lean races from each party together.
I’ve said before that both chambers looked like coin flips this year. That’s also what the Senate Race Ratings say. The generic legislative ballot though, as I pointed out earlier this week points to the DFL recapturing the chamber.
If the DFL’s current 7% advantage in the average of the polls holds, and they win 7% more of the legislative votes on election day, the DFL would be expected to end up with a 41-26 Senate majority. That would mean a virtual sweep of the Toss-up races.
Presented here, in it’s very own table, are those 19 Toss-up races referenced in the above table:
|District||DFL Candidate||GOP Candidate|
|1||LeRoy Stumpf||Steve Nordhagen|
|2||Rod Skoe||Dennis Moser|
|4||Kent Eken||Phil Hansen|
|5||Tom Saxhaug||John Carlson|
|10||Taylor Stevenson||Carrie Ruud|
|14||Jerry McCarter||John Pederson|
|17||Lyle Koenen||Joe Gimse|
|20||Kevin Dahle||Mike Dudley|
|21||Matt Schmit||John Howe|
|28||Jack Krage||Jeremy Miller|
|36||John Hoffman||Benjamin Kruse|
|37||Alice Johnson||Pam Wolf|
|39||Julie Bunn||Karin Housley|
|42||Bev Scalze||April King|
|48||Laurie McKendry||David Hann|
|49||Melisa Franzen||Keith Downey|
|51||Jim Carlson||Ted Daley|
|53||Susan Kent||Ted Lillie|
|57||Greg Clausen||Pat Hall|
Those 19 races will decide who controls the Minnesota Senate next year. It’s certainly possible that one or more of the races listed as Lean or Likely or even Safe could flip, but it won’t be many of them.
Here than, is the complete list.
|District||DFL Candidate||GOP Candidate||Rating|
|1||LeRoy Stumpf||Steve Nordhagen||Toss-up|
|2||Rod Skoe||Dennis Moser||Toss-up|
|3||Thomas Bakk||Jennifer Havlick||Safe DFL|
|4||Kent Eken||Phil Hansen||Toss-up|
|5||Tom Saxhaug||John Carlson||Toss-up|
|6||David Tomassoni||Brandon Anderson||Safe DFL|
|7||Roger Reinert||Tyler Verry||Safe DFL|
|8||Dan Skogen||Bill Ingebrigtsen||Likely GOP|
|9||Al Doty||Paul Gazelka||Likely GOP|
|10||Taylor Stevenson||Carrie Ruud||Toss-up|
|11||Tony Lourey||Bill Saumer||Likely DFL|
|12||John Schultz||Torrey Westrom||Lean GOP|
|13||Peggy Boeck||Michelle Fischbach||Likely GOP|
|14||Jerry McCarter||John Pederson||Toss-up|
|15||Ron Thiessen||Dave Brown||Safe GOP|
|16||Ted Suss||Gary Dahms||Lean GOP|
|17||Lyle Koenen||Joe Gimse||Toss-up|
|18||Steve Schiroo||Scott Newman||Safe GOP|
|19||Kathy Sheran||Safe DFL|
|20||Kevin Dahle||Mike Dudley||Toss-up|
|21||Matt Schmit||John Howe||Toss-up|
|22||Alan Oberloh||Bill Weber||Lean GOP|
|23||Paul Marquardt||Julie Rosen||Likely GOP|
|24||Vicki Jensen||Vern Swedin||Lean GOP|
|25||Judy Ohly||David Senjem||Lean GOP|
|26||Ken Moen||Carla Nelson||Lean GOP|
|27||Dan Sparks||Linden Anderson||Safe DFL|
|28||Jack Krage||Jeremy Miller||Toss-up|
|29||Brian Doran||Bruce Anderson||Safe GOP|
|30||Paul Perovich||Mary Kiffmeyer||Safe GOP|
|31||Mike Starr||Michelle Benson||Safe GOP|
|32||Jeske Noordergraaf||Sean Nienow||Likely GOP|
|33||Judy Rogosheske||David Osmek||Safe GOP|
|34||Sharon Bahensky||Warren Limmer||Lean GOP|
|35||Peter Perovich||Branden Petersen||Likely GOP|
|36||John Hoffman||Benjamin Kruse||Toss-up|
|37||Alice Johnson||Pam Wolf||Toss-up|
|38||Timothy Henderson||Roger Chamberlain||Likely GOP|
|39||Julie Bunn||Karin Housley||Toss-up|
|40||Chris Eaton||Safe DFL|
|41||Barbara Goodwin||Gina Bauman||Safe DFL|
|42||Bev Scalze||April King||Toss-up|
|43||Charles Wiger||Duane Johnson||Likely DFL|
|44||Terri Bonoff||David Gaither||Lean DFL|
|45||Ann Rest||Blair Tremere||Likely DFL|
|46||Ron Latz||Roger Champagne||Safe DFL|
|47||James Weygand||Julianne Ortman||Safe GOP|
|48||Laurie McKendry||David Hann||Toss-up|
|49||Melisa Franzen||Keith Downey||Toss-up|
|50||Melissa Wiklund||Vern Wilcox||Safe DFL|
|51||Jim Carlson||Ted Daley||Toss-up|
|52||James Metzen||Dwight Rabuse||Lean DFL|
|53||Susan Kent||Ted Lillie||Toss-up|
|54||Katie Sieben||Janis Quinlan||Likely DFL|
|55||Josh Ondich||Eric Pratt||Safe GOP|
|56||Leon Thurman||Dan Hall||Lean GOP|
|57||Greg Clausen||Pat Hall||Toss-up|
|58||Andrew Brobston||Dave Thompson||Safe GOP|
|59||Bobby Joe Champion||Jim Lilly||Safe DFL|
|60||Kari Dziedzic||Mark Lazarchic||Safe DFL|
|61||Scott Dibble||Safe DFL|
|62||Jeff Hayden||Eric Blair||Safe DFL|
|63||Patricia Torres Ray||Patrick Marron||Safe DFL|
|64||Dick Cohen||Sharon Anderson||Safe DFL|
|65||Sandy Pappas||Rick Karschnia||Safe DFL|
|66||John Marty||Wayde Brooks||Safe DFL|
|67||Foung Hawj||Mike Capistrant||Safe DFL|
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