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Marriage, voting amendments defeated; DFL retakes Minnesota Senate, House

Nolan tops Cravaack in 8th, Bachmann squeaks by; Klobuchar, other 6  incumbents in the House win as Minnesota goes for Obama.

Vote No proponents celebrating the defeat of the ballot measure on Tuesday night.
MinnPost photo by Terry Gydesen

In a historic development, Minnesota became the first of 30 states to defeat a ballot issue banning same-sex marriage.

With nearly 99 percent of the vote counted, the proposed amendment that would have put a gay marriage ban in the state constitution drew 51.3 percent in “no” votes, with 47.8 percent in favor and 1.3 percent not voting (the equivalent of a “no” vote).

Minnesotans also rejected the other proposed constitutional amendment, a measure that would have required voters to show a photo ID and would have changed the state’s voting system. “No” votes totaled 52.3 percent, with 47.8 percent in favor and 1 percent not voting.

Also, with incomplete returns, the DFL has regained control of both houses of the state Legislature, which they lost in 2010. The new Senate appears to have 39 DFLers  and 28 Republicans, with the House makeup appearing to be 73 DFLers and 61 Republicans.

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Minnesota’s congressional changed, too, with Democrats retaking the 8th District, as former Congressman Rick Nolan beat GOP incumbent Chip Cravaack. Sixth District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann squeaked by Democratic challenger Jim Graves. The other six incumbents were re-elected.

Check back later this morning for complete coverage and analysis.

President Obama has won Minnesota as part of his national victory and Sen. Amy Klobuchar easily won a second term.

Minnesota House Majority Leader Matt Dean was leading in his race with new DFLer Greg Pariseau in redistricted District 38B. An earlier MinnPost story showed Dean losing in Ramsey County, but hadn’t include Washington County precincts in the race, too.

ABC News and CBS News called Minnesota for President Obama early, giving the state’s 10 electoral votes to the president. Other news outlets were holding off on the call, as of 9:30 p.m.

Amy Klobuchar  won re-election to a second term in the U.S Senate Tuesday, easily defeating Republican challenger Kurt Bills.

CBS, the AP and other organizations made the call for Klobuchar within minutes after the polls closed in Minnesota at 8 p.m.

Bills, a high school teacher and one-term state representative, won the Republican nomination with support from Ron Paul supporters but couldn’t muster enough support to overcome Klobuchar’s statewide popularity.

Klobuchar hasn’t strayed from her moderate Democratic roots and has received praise for her constituent work.

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Klobochar beat Republican Mark Kennedy by a 58-38 margin to first win the seat in 2006, replacing Sen. Mark Dayton, who stepped down after one term (and went on to become governor in 2010).

Klobuchar had led consistently in the polling this year, usually by 20- to 40-point margins, and had high approval ratings.