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Purple state: Mapping Vikings stadium legislative votes

Minnesota House Vikings stadium votes

Being a numbers nerd and a sports fan, I couldn't help noodling around the vote totals from this week's Vikings stadium votes. After the Minnesota House of Representatives approved the bill 73-58, everyone reported the partisan breakdown (DFL went 40-20 pro; GOP went 33-48 anti).

I was intrigued by the geographic one: using a crude method (Districts 1-31 were non-metro; everything else metro) I calculated "Greater Minnesota" House members voted aye 43-18, while Twin Cities-area reps said no 40-30. I wondered aloud (well, via Twitter) whether anyone had a map.

Kevin Schaul, who works with MinnPost's interactive team, used  our list to make the zoomable one, above. (It's from his personal site, which is worth checking out.) Purple is a pro-stadium vote; gold anti-stadium; gray a non-vote.

You can see the further away you get from the stadium site (and Minneapolis sales taxes), the more purple your representatives become.

The hyper-conservative area I'll loosely dub the "Bachmann belt," extending north past Mille Lacs, remained anti-subsidy, as did the more right-wing southwest exurbs. Most of the lefty Minneapolis said no (House Minority Leader Paul Thissen was an exception), but a cluster of St. Paul reps — perhaps propelled by labor and the promise of their own athletic baubles — voted yes.

The Senate map (below) isn't way different. Using my rought-cut House method, Greater Minnesota went ga-ga for the stadium in even greater numbers: 23-8 yes, or 74 percent (compared to 71 percent in the House). Metro Senators said no 20-15.

Thus, the "geography gap" was greater than the "partisan gap" — where you lived was a better predictor than which party you belonged to. By the way, there was also a "gender gap" — 64 percent of male reps voted aye compared to 38 percent of the women.

Minnesota Senate Vikings stadium votes

Maps by Kevin Schaul. Data courtesy MinnPost. Colors by Katie Kissel.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Bruce Bruemmer on 05/09/2012 - 12:26 pm.

    Pretty nice map

    although making the negatives gold doesn’t quite convey the sense of opposition. However, since all of the Senators yesterday made sure to underscore that they were Vikings fans, I suppose it is appropriate. Sure would be nice to get some cities plotted on this thing.

    BTW, Champion was the other Minneapolis representative to join Thissen in voting for the stadium.

  2. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 05/09/2012 - 01:14 pm.

    This geographical map is exactly what a lot of us were looking to see–thanks for thinking along those same lines, and doing this for us!

    Interesting, that geographically, it’s ideologues from the right voting with people who will actually be the taxpayers who’ll fund this new stadium for the Vikings–and who don’t want to fund it–forming the gold areas.(Gamblers are voluntary contributors, unlike taxpayers.) The metro area has more folks who might occasionally come into Minneapolis and buy things, meals, hotels, theatre, the arts, and thus be part of this funding based on Minneapolis sales taxes for several generations to come.

    Of course, anyone actually living in Minneapolis will have to pay at least that .5% sales tax on the basics of life, including utilities, for several generations, all to fund the Vikings.

  3. Submitted by Curt Prins on 05/10/2012 - 09:54 am.

    Kickbacks worked

    Looks the the $2.7M annual sweetener (for 20 years) to the City of Saint Paul delivered their local senators’ votes.

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