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Editor’s Note: With so much heat rather than light in the media world today, Liberty Nation presents the following series on the crucial midterm elections that will be taking place. These elections will likely determine the course of the Trump presidency and as such should be looked at with in-depth analysis. Thus, each week LN author Graham Noble will be giving our readers a state-by-state look at the upcoming elections. This week, he covers House and Senate Races in Minnesota and Mississippi.
In presidential elections, the state of Minnesota had not been won by a Democrat from 1860 through 1928. Since 1932, A Republican has carried the state only three times – and the last Republican to win in Minnesota was incumbent President Richard Nixon. President Donald Trump’s margin of defeat in 2016 was the narrowest of the past five general elections. He took 44.9% of Minnesota’s votes to Hillary Clinton’s 46.4%.
This demographic shift in voting habits is, of course, reflected in many states and Mississippi is no exception. Until 1964, the state had voted for a Republican only one time, when, in 1872, Mississippians chose incumbent President Ulysses S. Grant. Since 1964, a Democrat has never won in Mississippi. Trump claimed 57.9% of the state’s votes in 2016, against Clinton’s 40.1%.
Democratic Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar represent Minnesota and both will be seeking re-election in November. Smith’s race, however, is not a regular midterm affair. Formerly the state’s Lieutenant Governor, Smith was appointed to fill Al Franken’s seat after he resigned from the Senate earlier this year, following a barrage of sexual misconduct allegations. Smith will, therefore, be facing a special election, with the winner serving in the Senate until 2020. A progressive Democrat with deep ties to the abortion industry, Smith is not a certain winner in November and Democrats know that the loss of this seat would be a nail in the coffin of their hopes to gain control of the Senate. Running against her is Minnesota State Senator Karin Housley, who has the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee.
This one is both a contest of ideology and the lynchpin of partisan power in the Senate until 2020. In a state that Hillary Clinton won by less than 2 percentage points, Smith, who picked up Clinton’s endorsement, represents the Democratic Party’s continuing shift toward the extreme left.
Minnesota’s eight congressional districts are represented by three Republicans and five Democrats. The midterms represent a challenge for both parties in this state. Two incumbents are not seeking re-election. Democrat Rick Nolan is retiring from Congress. His 8th district, which re-elected him by a narrow margin in 2016 but voted for Trump by more than 15 percentage points, is vulnerable for Democrats. Tim Walz, another Democrat, announced last year that he is running for Governor. The race to fill his 1st district seat is another one to watch. Like Nolan, Walz was narrowly re-elected in a district that voted heavily for Donald Trump. Two Republican seats are also vulnerable: The 2nd district, represented by Jason Lewis and the 3rd district, which voted for Clinton by a margin of 9.4% and is represented by Erik Paulsen.
Both of Mississippi’s Senate seats will be contested in this year’s midterms. Although Roger Wicker may face a challenge from another State Senator Chris McDaniel, who is also a Republican, the seat will remain in the hands of the Majority. Republican Senator Thad Cochran unexpectedly resigned, recently, citing health issues. The Democratic Party has high hopes for capturing this seat in a special election to be held on the same day as the midterm elections.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will nominate Cochran’s replacement within 10 days of April 1, which Cochran set as the date of his resignation. McDaniel is focused on challenging the moderate Wicker, although he may end up competing in the special election for Cochran’s seat.
Mississippi has four congressional districts, represented by three Republicans and one Democrat. All four seats are considered relatively safe for their respective parties.
Midterm Election Watch predicts Republicans will pick up a Senate seat and one House seat in Minnesota, this November.
Join us next week as our series focuses on House and Senate Races in Missouri, Montana, and Nebraska.