Where the DFL made its gains to take control of the Minnesota House

In the end, it wasn’t even close.

The Minnesota DFL needed to flip 11 Republican-held Minnesota House seats into their column to take control of the chamber. After the votes were counted on Tuesday night, they had picked up 18 — while managing not to lose a single seat of their own. (As of press time, results for District 27B, near Austin, were still pending with one precinct remaining to count, but DFL incumbent Rep. Jeanne Poppe had a comfortable lead.)

So where did the DFL make its gains? Largely in the outer-ring suburbs of the Twin Cities metro.

In the diagram below, House districts are given equal size but organized geographically similarly to how they are arranged in the state. Districts that are shaded a darker blue are the ones that flipped from GOP to DFL control. You can click a district to get more detailed results from our Election Results Dashboard.

Twelve of the seats won from Republicans by the DFL were the so-called “Hillary 12” — suburban districts that, in 2016, voted for Hillary Clinton for president while sending a Republican to the state House. Those districts were: 49A (Edina), 44A (Plymouth), 48B (Eden Prairie), 33B (Chanhassen), 34B (Maple Grove), 42A (Shoreview), 52B (Inver Grove Heights), 53B (Woodbury), 54A (South St. Paul), 56A (Savage), 56B (Lakeville) and 57B (Rosemount).

Rounding out DFL gains in the metro were District 36A, an open-seat contest created by the retirement of Republican Rep. Mark Uglem; District 38B, the seat formerly held by Republican Rep. Matt Dean before he left it to pursue a run for governor; 39B, the Stillwater district where challenger Shelly Christensen edged out longtime GOP incumbent Kathy Lohmer by 137 votes; and 55A in Shakopee, a seat the became competitive for the DFL after its Republican incumbent, Rep. Bob Loonan, lost a primary from his right from Erik Mortensen.

The DFL also picked up two seats in Greater Minnesota. That they won District 14B was perhaps of little surprise: the Republican incumbent, Rep. Jim Knoblach, ended his campaign in September amid allegations of sexual abuse. Meanwhile, in District 5A, encompassing Bemidji and parts east, DFLer John Persell beat out GOP incumbent Matt Bliss — but with a razor-thin margin of 4 votes.

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 11/07/2018 - 11:18 am.

    Certainly the 4 vote margin will get a recount, yes?

    • Submitted by Thomas Pavey on 11/07/2018 - 02:28 pm.

      Per secretary of state website current count is 8452 vs 8444. A difference of 8 (0.04%) with 7 write-in votes.

      Per SOS website they estimate 1 in every 2000 to 3000 may not be counted due to a ballot being marked in a way that cannot be read by the machine. There are also no automatic recounts. Matt Bliss would have to request a publicly funded recount.

  2. Submitted by Brad Lundell on 11/07/2018 - 11:44 am.

    Thanks for the superb coverage during the election season.

  3. Submitted by ian wade on 11/07/2018 - 02:25 pm.

    Losing the outer ring suburbs should concern the GOP greatly.

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