Humphrey Institute blog predicts GOP to gain 8 state Senate seats, but DFL to retain control

Smart Politics, a political blog written by Eric Ostermeier at the U of M’s Humphrey Institute, predicts that Republicans in Minnesota will pick up eight seats in the state Senate, but that the DFL will continue to control the body. The veto-proof majority, though, could be in danger.

The DFL currently holds a 46-21 majority in the Senate.

Ostermeier notes:

“Presuming Minnesota experiences a GOP tidal wave that is even half as powerful as the one about to hit the rest of the country on Tuesday, there are certainly many DFL State Senate seats ripe for the picking. The DFL won 11 Senate seats by less than 10 points in 2006, plus the special election in SD 16 in 2008. Of those 12 seats, eight were pick-ups.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is GOP gains in the Senate have always been incremental, and stunted as compared to those in the House, even in cycles with notable Republican momentum. So, while Republican pick-ups of as many as 15 seats look feasible on paper, history suggests the GOP will fall short of that mark.

And while Republicans will still yet to have won control of the upper chamber — a feat that has eluded them since partisan ballot elections returned in 1974 — the Party will inflict enough losses to derail a DFL veto-proof majority for not simply 2011, but also even if there is a Democratic rebound in 2012 after new district lines have been drawn.”

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