All 201 seats in the Minnesota Legislature are up for re-election this year and due to the new redistricting maps, there are also 15 open house districts. The current partisan breakdown of the Minnesota House of Representatives is 72 seats for the GOP, 61 seats for the DFL, with one open-seat. The House DFL Caucus needs to pick-up 6 seats currently held by the GOP to win control of the Minnesota House of Representatives. But in my opinion, the new redistricting map released on February 21, 2012 by the Minnesota Supreme Court Redistricting Panel favors the House DFL Caucus over the House GOP Caucus because of where the court drew the open house districts.
The House DFL and House GOP caucuses have relatively the same amount of money to spend on legislative races – unlike in the Minnesota Senate, where the Senate DFL Caucus has a significant cash-on-hand advantage over the Senate GOP Caucus. I will have more analysis on the fundraising numbers of the house caucuses later this week.
As I noted in my post on Monday, the House GOP and House DFL caucuses will likely battle head-to-head in 15-20 races or less. Below is my list of the top-20 house races to watch, listed numerically by house district, Republican candidates first. These races will ultimately decide who controls the Minnesota House of Representatives. I’ve also added an additional “on-deck” list of races that could be included in future lists. I will be updating the top-ten list over the coming weeks based on developments on the campaign trail. It’s 63 days before the election, so any predictions would be meaningless at this point as many things will change over the coming weeks. But as we get closer to election day, I’ll add more analysis along with predictions on who will be victorious on Election Day.
Top-20 House Races to Watch
On-Deck to Watch
Please leave a comment if you have thoughts or input on the races I selected. Please check back to politics.mn for more analysis this week on the legislative elections.