While Tuesday did not end well at the presidential or U.S. Senate level in Minnesota, the U.S. House of Representatives is a different story — both statewide and nationally.
Many Republican strategists were resigned to a double-digit loss of House seats. As of this writing, while Democrats will keep control of the lower chamber, they could wind up with the slimmest House majority in 20 years.
Republican candidates won 25 of 27 toss-up races — and at least four “Lean Democrat” races — while picking up more than a dozen seats. House Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted Wednesday, “Republicans defied the odds and grew our party last night.”
In addition to McCarthy, major credit goes to U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota. Not only was he re-elected to a fourth term in the Sixth Congressional District by 33 points, but as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, he also led the GOP’s effort to win back a House majority.
How and why did this occur?
The suburban “anti-Trump” revolt of 2018 didn’t extend to Tuesday. Most Republican incumbents in white-collar suburbs ran ahead of President Donald Trump down-ballot.
Democrats suffered a monumental erosion in Hispanic support, especially in Florida and Texas. Republicans vastly outperformed forecasts in many heavily-Hispanic districts.
It was also a stellar night for Republican women. At least 14 new conservative females are headed to Congress — from the Midwest to the southeast, northeast and southwest.
“There will be a lot for everyone to unpack in the days, weeks, and months ahead about what much of the survey data got wrong at multiple levels,” the Cook Political Report said Wednesday. “But credit should be given to the NRCC, led by chair Tom Emmer and executive director Parker Hamilton Poling, as well as the Congressional Leadership Fund led by executive director Dan Conston, for continuing to invest on offense when other consultants wrote races off.”
Locally, it appears Minnesota’s U.S. House delegation will be a 4-4 split.
Jim Hagedorn won a nail-biter by 1,300 votes two years ago in the First Congressional District over Dan Feehan, but the rematch was not as close. Hagedorn leads this year by over 10,000 votes, though Feehan has yet to concede.
In the razor thin Second Congressional District, Angie Craig appears to have defeated political newcomer Tyler Kistner by a few thousand votes. The Kistner campaign plans to continue monitoring votes.
Pete Stauber became the first Republican to win re-election in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District in more than 70 years.
DFLers Betty McCollum, Ilhan Omar, and Dean Phillips held their Twin Cities-area seats, but in a nationally-watched race across western Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, Michelle Fischbach easily denied Collin Peterson a 16th term.