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Where the votes for Ilhan Omar’s victory over Antone Melton-Meaux came from

Omar and her challenger in the DFL primary ran close races in many of the Minneapolis suburbs in the Fifth District, but most of the votes in the race are found in the city itself.

CD5 Rep. Ilhan Omar and supporters rallying potential voters on Tuesday at Central and Broadway in Minneapolis.
CD5 Rep. Ilhan Omar and supporters rallying potential voters on Tuesday at Central and Broadway in Minneapolis.
MinnPost photo by Walker Orenstein

Minnesota’s most closely watched primary race on Tuesday night was the contest between Rep. Ilhan Omar and Antone Melton-Meaux in the Fifth Congressional District.

The district, which covers Minneapolis and some of its surrounding suburbs, is one of the most liberal in the country, and whoever wins the DFL primary in it is basically guaranteed a seat in Congress.

In a primary challenge against incumbent Rep. Ilhan Omar, attorney Antone Melton-Meaux positioned himself as an alternative to the high-profile first term representative. Omar is a member of the progressive “Squad” who has attracted both praise and controversy in her two years in Congress.

Omar was declared the winner on election night, and while votes will be trickling in in the coming days, as of publication, she had 57 percent of votes, compared to Melton-Meaux’s 39 percent. (Vote totals in this article are as of about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.)

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Taking a look at where those votes came from, though, showed that while Melton-Meaux was competitive with Omar in many of the district’s suburbs — even defeating her in some, he could not overcome the incumbent’s massive lead in the city of Minneapolis itself.

Winning Minneapolis

As of Wednesday morning, Omar won 66,068 votes in Minneapolis, almost double Melton-Meaux’s total of 35,234. Those votes represented 63 percent of votes cast in the race.

Votes in the DFL CD5 primary by city
Note: Results are preliminary and will change through Thursday, August 13.
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State

Melton-Meaux found more success in the suburbs, winning in St. Louis Park, Golden Valley and Edina. But he was bested by Omar in several, including Richfield, Columbia Heights and Crystal.

Within Minneapolis

Within Minneapolis itself, Omar carried most of the city’s wards by large margins. Melton-Meaux won in  Ward 13, the far Southwest portion of the city that borders Edina. Melton-Meaux also nearly tied Omar in Ward 7, the Kenwood area.

Votes in the DFL CD5 primary by Minneapolis ward
Note: Results are preliminary and will change through Thursday 8/13. Ward neighborhood descriptions are approximate.
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State