I wrote about the remarkable results in Minnesota legislative races in “What happened in Minnesota.” The results were most remarkable in Minnesota state House races. In a presidential election year, when turnout traditionally favors Democrats, the GOP amplified its majority in the House, winning 77 seats to the Democrats’ 57. Remember, this is Minnesota we’re talking about.
House Speaker Kurt Daudt will return as such in the upcoming session. Much of the credit for the results belongs to him. Where circumstances created the opportunity, he seized it.
GOP House candidates flipped six DFL seats — two in rural Minnesota (one in the Bemidji area and one in the Grand Rapids area). Obama won both of these districts in 2012 and Trump won both districts this year.
GOP House candidates also flipped four seats in the Twin Cities suburbs, which have become challenging terrain. Trump got clobbered in these suburban districts, yet GOP candidates won with over 50 percent of the vote in Edina (Dario Anselmo defeated Rep. Ron Erhardt; Trump received 32 percent of the vote); in Shoreview/Arden Hills/Moundsview (Randy Jessup defeated Rep. Barb Yarusso; Trump received 38 percent); in Inver Grove Heights/Mendota Heights/Sunfish Lake (Regina Barr defeated Mary T’Kach in an open seat; Trump received 42 percent); and in St. Paul Park/Cottage Grove (Keith Franke defeated Jen Peterson in an open seat; Trump received 43 percent).
In the Edina race, the cable ad below made a difference. Ron Erhardt, the subject of the ad, is a turncoat Republican. His defeat is particularly sweet. This ad is worth a look. “Hard-hitting” doesn’t capture it.