Quinn Nystrom will be the DFL candidate for the U.S. House, from Minnesota Congressional District 8. Here’s her website.
Some background, for non-Minnesota politics junkies. For a long, long time MN-08 was considered deep blue. It was represented for decades by the late James Oberstar, who rarely if ever had much trouble getting reelected…until the 2010 red tsunami. Chip Cravaack lasted one term, then Democrats got the seat back with Rick Nolan. He chose to leave Congress after the 2017-18 session. Nolan was in fact a solid progressive on many issues, but among Minnesota progressives that tended to be overshadowed by his profoundly wrongheaded support for sulfide mining. In 2018, despite a blue wave nationally MN-08 was won by the Republican, Rep. Pete Stauber.
In the popular political mind MN-08 is often equated with the Iron Range. Which has made some sense, as Duluth goes blue, and the southern, farm country part of the district goes red, and the Range provides the difference. But whether that’s the right way to assess things now is debatable.
What seems to have happened on the Range, starting around 2010 or sooner, is similar to what happened in the ex-Confederacy in the 1980s. You may recall that for a long time conservative southern Democrats dominated much of that region as far as legislatures, including the U.S. House, went. Then many rednecks realized that, while they’d been voting for Democrats because that’s what their parents and grandparents and so on back to the days of Gen’l Lee did, the contemporary Republican Party was in fact the right fit for their sexism, racism, endless propensities for whining and blaming, and so forth. That’s not the whole story, but it’s a big chunk of it, and other than the Gen’l Lee part it’s what belatedly happened in much of northern Minnesota as well.
Which sure as hell doesn’t mean that everyone on the Range, or elsewhere in MN-08, or anywhere else at all for that matter, who voted Party of Trump last time, is a hopelessly cognitively rigid Trump diehard. In particular, the southeast part of the district is north metro, and should be subject to the same kind of flipping, especially among women, that for the most part worked out well for us in 2018, and is boding even better in 2020. And demographic change is real, and it matters.
Let the purported experts write this one off. Screw ‘em. We can win this.
Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.