Redistricting, controversial constitutional amendments and a presidential election have put many Minnesota House and Senate races in flux. Here are the key races.
Click on a highlighted district below to see why the race is in play.
Thanks to MPR's Paul Tosto for putting the map together.
Posted at 6:30 AM on November 1, 2012
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Daily Digest
Welcome to the Daily Digest, where there's a fierce battle going on for the state Legislature, Bachmann and Graves debate on the Daily Circuit, and Obama and Christie tour storm damage.
There's a fierce battle for control of the state Legislature.
Bookmark this map: It shows the most important legislative races with commentary from the intrepid Tom Scheck.
Marriage amendment supporters and opponents got some out-of-state money.
The Race for Congress
Rep. Chip Cravaack and Rick Nolan debated for the last time before the election.
The two of them sparred over mining and jobs.
Bill Clinton sent a fundraising plea for Nolan.
Rep. Michele Bachmann and her opponent Jim Graves debate on the Daily Circuit today.
Politico profiles Bachmann's race.
Political opponents President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie set their differences aside Wednesday and toured storm damage.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney campaigned quietly in Florida.
He's facing scrutiny for how he would handle federal disaster assistance.
The Race for President
Obama returns to the campaign trail today, making stops in Wisconsin.
A pro-Romney super PAC plans to spend $1.1 million on ads between now and Election Day throughout Minnesota.
Meanwhile, it appears that Romney has scaled back it's initial ad buy in the Twin Cities market announced last week.
In the final days of the campaign, Washington Post reporter Dan Balz writes that time trumps spending by the candidates.
Nate Silver looks at what state polls say about the national popular vote.
The candidates see hope for their campaigns in three states, including Minnesota.
Mitt Romney's criticism of the auto bailout is meant to drive turnout, the Washington Post reports.
Posted at 12:52 PM on November 1, 2012
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Campaign 2012
Dayton is not on the ballot this year, but he's working to get more DFL legislators elected to help move his agenda. The governor is also urging voters to re-elect President Obama and to reject the two constitutional amendments on the state ballot. During a rally today outside of the State Capitol, Dayton said there's a lot at stake Tuesday.
"Everybody knows how critical this election is," Dayton said. "Everybody knows what's on the line here. There's no tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee. This is a fundamental difference in the direction for our country and for our state, and we've got to win it."
Other speakers included U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Congresswoman Betty McCollum, state Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL Cook, and state DFL Chair Ken Martin.
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said he believes Democrats are poised to win majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate. Thissen said voters are frustrated by the gridlock they've seen at the Capitol, and he blamed Republicans.
"These Republicans have taken us in exactly the wrong direction that this state needs to go, and we need to be moving forward once again," Thissen said. "The challenges are too big for us not to be doing that."
Republicans disgree. House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, said he believes Republicans will retain control. Dean said he thinks the GOP focus on economic issues and job creation is a better message than what the DFL is talking about.
"Their message is 'we don't like Republicans, and Republicans are bad,'" Dean said. It's a negative message. It's one that I don't think works very well. They have a message of bipartisanship, and their bipartisan message is 'fire all the Republicans.' That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to the people that I talk to."
The DFL bus tour has more than two dozen stops scheduled through Monday.
An administrative law judge has dismissed a complaint against DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie that alleged he made false statements about the proposed voter ID constitutional amendment.
Among other things, Republican Sens. Mike Parry of Waseca and Scott Newman of Hutchinson, said that Ritchie had falsely claimed that the provisional balloting system created by the amendment may cost the state millions based on current estimates.
Parry and Newman argued that these were estimates and therefore speculative.
But Administrative Law Judge Bruce H. Johnson disagreed, writing that the claim made on the secretary of state's website "may be pessimistic, but it is not demonstrably false."
Johnson backed Ritchie on other counts, too. He wrote that Ritchie's statements about how the new voter ID rules could affect same-day voter registration and absentee voting were "not false."
You can read the entire ruling here.
Parry said that he and Newman are meeting with their lawyer to decide what to do next. The duo has two days to appeal Johnson's decision.(1 Comments)
Paul Ryan, the Republican nominee for Vice President, will campaign in Minnesota on Sunday.
The Romney campaign is sending out an e-mail about the event to supporters. It was also confirmed by a top Republican official in Minnesota who has knowledge of the event. Ryan will hold a campaign rally at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport at 3:30 on Sunday afternoon.
The event comes just two days before Election Day and shows the importance the Romney campaign is putting on Minnesota.
Recent polls show President Obama with a lead in the state but Romney's campaign and other Minnesota Republicans have argued that the race is tightening.
Ryan had a private dinner in St. Paul on Tuesday after he held a campaign event in Hudson, Wisconsin. He also held a private fundraiser in the state earlier this month.
Ryan isn't the only once campaigning for Minnesota votes. Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to campaign in Superior, WI on Friday. An event that will be covered by reporters in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Former President Bill Clinton also held campaign events in Minneapolis and Duluth earlier this week for President Obama.
A Republican presidential candidate has not won Minnesota since 1972.
Presidential politics leads the Digest again today as two big names visit the region this weekend. Vice President Joe Biden will campaign in Superior, WI (Duluth media market) today.
Paul Ryan is scheduled to hold a campaign rally in Minneapolis on Sunday.
Romney will visit PA on Sunday.
The two sides have been arguing over the importance of Minnesota in the electoral map. Mitt Romney's team says it means more states are in play. President Obama's team says it shows Romney is desperate to find a pathway to 270 electoral votes because Ohio is in the bag.
CNN says it's a chess match in the eight swing states.
The New York Times says the battle for Wisconsin is in the rural parts of the state.
Both candidates are back on the campaign trail.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, says he's backing Obama because he'd lead on climate change.
Race for U.S. Senate
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Republican Kurt Bills will participate in the final debate of the season on Sunday at 7pm. MPR will host the debate at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul and air it live on the radio.
MPR takes a look at what Bills is saying to voters in the last week of the campaign.
AP says GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack is out to prove that 2010 is no fluke.
Same-Sex Marriage Amendment
MPR hosted a heated debate over the amendment on Thursday night.
A staffer for the Minnesota Senate went after GOP Rep. John Kriesel in a pretty harsh way on Twitter. He later wrote that he was sorry for calling Kriesel, a veteran who lost his legs in the war in Iraq, an SOB and other nasty things. (Rachel Stassen-Berger compiled the tweets in Storify).
An administrative law judge dismissed the complaint from Senate Republicans against Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.
The Labor Department will release the latest unemployment numbers this morning.
Consumers are giving the U.S. economy a lift.
St. Jude Medical is cutting 500 jobs.
Target sales rise 2.4 percent in October.
Under the Dome
MnDOT's Chief is stepping down.
A state task force tackles options for the state's sex offenders.
Gov. Dayton is set to visit Winona for the Governor's Deer Opener.
The CIA played a pivotal part in fighting the militants in Libya.
CBS News says a key task force was not convened during the attacks in Libya.
Republicans are less likely to pass a debt limit increase regardless of who is elected president.(1 Comments)