In 2008, Minnesota was the battle ground for one of the closest Senate races. And, as we all know, we now have Senator Al Franken. Hopefully, he will be around for a while.
But lets first start off with Michigan. Michigan usually votes Democratic, but can sometimes has Republican surprises. While Democrats might dominate much of the politics in the state, a stray Republican can make a strong showing here and there.
But this election year might be a little different. Currently, Republican candidate for governor, Rick Snyder, is leading Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero by nearly 20 points in the polls. And while we know that polling has been all over the place this election year, having nearly a 20 point lead isn’t a mistake. Expect the Republicans to dominate this race.
There are also two additional races to watch in Michigan on Election Day. In the 1st Congressional District, which consists mostly of Upper Michigan, Bart Stupak is retiring from the US House, and his seat is expected to change hands. Stupak was always a conservative Democrat. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Republicans would do well in this militia-rich district. We predict that Republican candidate, Dan Benishek, will win the election over Democratic State Representative Gary McDowell by a 55% to 45% margin.
Another close Michigan Congressional district is the 7th, which includes most of the south-central part of the state, including Lansing. This election is a rematch of 2008, where Democrat Mark Schauer defeated incumbent Republican Congressman Tim Walberg by just over 2%. And, again, we expect this race to be close yet again. We expect Walberg to regain his seat with 50.5% of majory party votes, with Schauer getting the rest. Again, this could be a race that we change closer to Election Day.
Minnesota is a state that is very similar to neighboring Michigan. While it is pretty Democratic, Republicans are able to make strides from time to time. And yes, they can elect the crazies like Michelle Bachmann. And, unlike 2008, this election year might be quite dull in Minnesota. All of the Congressional districts are expected to be retained by their respective parties. The only race that will be somewhat different will the governor’s race, where the Democrats look to pick up the seat. Former US Senator Mark Dayton is expected to win big. We project a 56% of the major party vote for Dayton over Republican Tom Emmer, with 46%.
Oh, and just to throw it out there, you might want to watch the Minnesota 6th. Bachmann isn’t exactly a shoe-in. I don’t expect her to lose, but just keep an eye on the race.