A look at Minnesota’s First District race

Minnesota’s congressional delegations is split between five Democrats and three Republicans. Minnesota’s First Congressional District is represented by Democrat Tim Walz, a phony centrist. The Mayo Clinic sits in Minnesota’s First Congressional District and the district naturally leans conservative/slightly Republican. Randy Demmer is the Republican candidate challenging Walz.
It has been hard to get a feel for the status of the race in the First District; it hasn’t received much attention. Of all the Minnesota congressional races, however, it appears to be the one most likely to produce a turnover. This week the first public poll I have seen on the race makes it look very close indeed.
According to a KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, Demmer is trailing Walz by just five points, 47 to 42 percent. That’s within the poll’s 4.1 percent margin of error. (The SurveyUSA poll uses a Registration Based Sample that is criticized by Luke Matthews. Matthews argues that the SurveyUSA methodology is likely to overstate Walz’s strength this year.)
The race in Minnesota’s First District is typical of the many races around the country in which Democratic incumbents are polling under 50 percent and at risk of getting swept out of office in a wave election. Walz was the beneficiary of a wave election that swept him into office in 2006, sending incumbent Republican Gil Gutknecht down to defeat. The damage done to Minnesota Republicans in the elections of 2006 and 2008 was deep.
Like other Minnesota Republican challengers including Teresa Collett (whom I know and believe to be an outstanding person), Lee Byberg, and Chip Cravaack, Demmer is a strong candidate who made a good impression on our local chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition when he appeared before us this summer. Rep. Kevin McCarthy drew attention to Demmer’s race here. Please consider supporting Demmer here.

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