ABM spent at least $1.1 million targeting 32 races this year, many that the DFL narrowly lost in 2010. It lost only 6, and the DFL re-took control of both the Minnesota House and Senate, further cementing ABM's reputation as a juggernaut in Minnesota politics.
Behind headlines about the impending change in leadership at the State Capitol is the looming question of what newly empowered Democrats will do about a lawsuit filed against the Senate by former Republican staffer Michael Brodkorb.
For months, it appeared certain that the proposed voter ID amendment on Tuesday's ballot would be approved by Minnesota voters. Just two weeks ago, two polls found the proposal had a healthy lead among voters. But as Election Day came closer, that support quickly eroded -- and the amendment that appeared poised for success, failed.
Over the din of victory bellows and a band playing Michael Jackson covers at their victory parties, DFL lawmakers and leaders said that progress may mean tax increases, property tax changes, increased school spending and even legislation to legalize same-sex marriage.
Rep. Michele Bachmann eked out a victory over DFL challenger Jim Graves. Meanwhile, six other incumbents won easily. Reps. Keith Ellison, Erik Paulsen, Betty McCollum, Tim Walz, Collin Peterson and John Kline all won re-election.
An MPR News analysis of campaign finance reports shows that at least $10.4 million has been invested by candidates, parties, unions and political groups on both sides of the aisle to defend or challenge the Republican majorities at the state Capitol.
As legislative candidates vie for votes in the final days of the campaign, there's a separate, less obvious battle going on between the parties: In the money war between the state's Democrats and Republicans, the Democrats have the clear upper hand a week from Election Day.
The final campaign finance reports of the election are in, and they show that President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have raised millions but have spent relatively little in Minnesota.
In his latest television ad, 2nd Congressional District Republican Rep. John Kline uses a familiar Minnesota landmark to emphasize how dire the nation's debt problems are. Kline's numbers are right, but his ad deserves some context.
"She helped turn a $6 BILLION deficit into a $1 BILLION surplus" one campaign flier says, alluding to Minnesota's budget battle last session. But she's never served in the Legislature.
Here's something property taxes, school funding and the state's budget have in common:
Each is center stage in some of the most contested legislative races in the state, from the suburbs of the Twin Cities to the north woods.
Meet Joe Forkeybolo, a popular "friend" to Minnesota Republicans on Facebook. Forkeybolo isn't a real person, though. He's the conservative alter-ego of Democratic operative Nate Dybvig. Dybvig has used the Forkeybolo persona to promote his clients from a Republican perspective, at times to a largely Republican audience.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison and his Republican opponent Chris Fields traded some heated verbal blows during a debate on radio station KFAI today, resulting in Ellison calling Fields a "low-life scumbag."
For the first time since Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann ran for Congress in 2006, there's no third-party candidate on the ballot. And that means a swath of voters is up for grabs, a development that could shift the race in favor of her DFL opponent, hotel magnate Jim Graves.
Millions of dollars are being poured into the Twin Cities television market on ads targeting the top of the ticket down to the legislative races.