Humphrey Institute blog: GOP may have good chance at Murphy’s open Senate seat

The Smart Politics blog from the U of M’s Humphrey Institute finds good news for Republicans in an analysis of recent voting activity in state Senate District 28, where DFLer Steve Murphy of Red Wing has announced he won’t seek re-election.

The analysis “finds Murphy’s 28th Senate District is not only Republican-leaning in and of itself, but it is decidedly more so than the Gopher State as a whole. GOP candidates have enjoyed a higher margin of victory in the 28th SD (or a lower margin of loss) in 23 of 23 statewide and district races over the last four election cycles.”

And: “Even with an incumbency advantage, Senator Murphy himself had to struggle with fairly competitive matchups in his successful bids for 4th and 5th terms. Murphy won by just 4.9 points over Gary Iocco in 2002 and by 9.0 points over eventual GOP HD 28B Representative Steve Drazkowski during the first Democratic tsunami year of 2006.”

It also has data from the district in other big races:

  •  In presidential races, George W. Bush performed +6.6 points better against John Kerry in the 28th district than he did statewide. And while McCain lost the district in 2008, he performed 8.5 points better than his statewide margin of loss.
  •  In U.S. Senate contests, Republican Norm Coleman’s margin of victory in the 28th was 2.9 points larger in 2002 than his statewide victory and 4.5 points better in his 2008 loss. In 2006, GOPer Mark Kennedy lost the 28th district by 5.4 fewer points than he did the Gopher State overall.
  •  In gubernatorial contests, Tim Pawlenty carried the district in both 2002 and 2006, and performed 8.3 points better against the DFL than his statewide margin in 2002 and 7.1 points better in 2006.

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