The Ocho lives!

Minnesota has retained its 8 Congressional seats after the release of today’s U.S. Census numbers. It was literally the last state “on the bubble” for losing a seat, just narrowly edging out Missouri. Minnesota gained population but not at the national average rate. Texas is the big winner, gaining four (!) seats, mostly in Hispanic areas. That’s a short term gain for the GOP and a long term prospect for Democrats (or a new party someday).

The Minnesota winners in all this are, in no particular order:

  • the people of northeastern Minnesota who will get to keep some form of a contiguous, (mostly) non agricultural 8th District. 
  • GOPer Michelle Bachmann, whose 6th District was most likely to get carved up into something difficult for her to keep.
  • DFLer Tim Walz, who was going to get a tougher 1st District if we had gone down to 7 seats.

It’s nice to see the upper midwest holding its own in the national westward and southward population shift. I’m betting this is the last census where this is the case.


  1. Isn’t Walz’s district going to get more Republican no matter what? It hasn’t been a high-growth area, and there’s nowhere for it to expand but north into the 7th and/or 2nd CDs.

  2. With all the gerrymandering the DFL has done the last 50 years, how did the GOP win control of both houses. Now that they control the process, you can bet the Districts will change.

  3. It should be interesting. Barring something shocking happening, the lines will be drawn by the state supreme court. I see no way that Governor Dayton will sign anything passed by the Republican dominated legislature.

    It probably won’t happen this time, but eventually the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul are going to be combined into one district. The argument that the inner cities have more in common with the surrounding inner ring suburbs than they do with each other is laughable. And if a congressional district is supposed to have between 600,000 and 700,000 people in it, it would only make sense to combine the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul into a single district.

    As far as what’s most likely to happen, we’ll probably see the 8th district (Cravaack) expand southward and pick up a few more Twin Cities exurbs in the extreme northern and northeastern metro. The 7th district will likely pick up some areas around St Cloud from the 6th district (Bachmann). The 1st district (Walz) will likely pick up a few rural counties in the 2nd district (Kline). The 4th district (Ellison) will likely pick up another inner-ring suburb or two from the 3rd district (Paulson). The 5th district (McCollum) will likely pick up parts of inner ring suburbs in the 2nd and/or 6th districts.

    If there are any wholesale changes, I could see a new 8th district being basically the northern half of the state consisting of anything north of a line going from Hinckley to just south of Little Falls to Willmar and eventually the Dakota border. I don’t think that’s likely though, as the court will try to avoid anything controversial.

  4. Agree it will be hard to make large changes, but the DFL had it all set up to their advantage and still took it in the shorts Nov 2nd. I’ve gone from staunch DFL’er to Independent/libertarian, many of my former workers have made the change also. I don’t care if the company makes big money or if PolyMet turns it’s investors into millionaires, I want a JOB. This class warfare waged by our union leaders is played out. We ALL need to vote for folks who’ll bring us jobs. Maybe this new district alignment will help with that.

  5. as for a DFL’er to run in the 8th in two years I have heard a lot of talk that Senator Reinert would be a great candidate thoughts?

  6. Reinert’s a great candidate but that would be the second time in four years he left after one term to run for higher office. I guess that’s OK, but it’d be an issue. Good suggestion, though. This thread had run cool.

  7. You should run a post comparing Fanning and Senator Reinert seeing as they are the two front runners currently

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.