Donald Trump narrowly lost to Hillary Clinton in the contest at the top of the ticket in Minnesota this year, but in other respects Republicans had an astoundingly good year. They amplified their majority in the Minnesota House to an unprecedented number in a presidential election cycle, when the turnout advantage usually accrues to Democrats, and took the majority in the Minnesota Senate. Republicans haven’t held a majority in the state Senate in a long time. As Star Tribune legislative reporter Patrick Coolican put it in the Star Tribune: “Senate Republicans have endured the indignities of minority status for all but two of the past 44 years[.]” I took a look at the results in “What happened in Minnesota” (part 2 here, part 3 here).
It was a bad year for Democrats in Minnesota. They didn’t see it coming.
Chisago (don’t spellcheck me, bro) County borders Wisconsin not far from the Twin Cities. It is Trump territory; Trump handily carried Chisago County by a margin of 30 points.
The Democrats got a rerun in one of the state House legislative races in Chisago County yesterday. Only last week the Star Tribune published an excited preview of the special election that was held yesterday. The Star Tribune noted the efforts that Democrats put into the race to pull it off and make a statement.
Now that the results are in, however, the excitement over at the Star Tribune has faded: “Republican Anne Anne Neu will represent Chisago County in an open Minnesota House seat following her victory in a closely watched special election on Tuesday. Neu took 53 percent of the vote in the House District 32B race, while DFLer Laurie Warner took 47 percent.” In his Star Tribune Morning Hot Dish newsletter this morning, Coolican laconically observes: “That means the House now stands at 77-57 for the GOP.”
Congratulations and thanks are in order for the excellent Ms. Neu while we pause to note that the Dem comeback is on hold in Minnesota.