Sturdevant asks big questions about Range demographics

The Star Tribune’s Lori Sturdevant pens a column in Sunday’s edition about the MN-8 race, including the political tradition and waning influence of the Iron Range. It’s worth a read. She echoes a lot of what we talk about here. On the Range, as is true anywhere, demographics is destiny. Shrinking senior classes at our high schools means that great amounts of hard work and innovation are necessary to restore glory.

The thrust:

… Chisholm native DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar lost his seat in 2010 after 18 terms not so much because his Range neighbors abandoned him, but because there weren’t enough of them to counter the Republican wave that swept the rest of the district.

Some DFL loyalists want to believe that Cravaack’s defeat of Oberstar was a one-off, isolated episode related to Oberstar’s neglect of his home base and a GOP national wave. They expect the district to revert to DFL dependability this year, regardless of who wins the three-way primary contest Tuesday.

That would be the thinking of people who turn a blind eye toward the empty seats at Range graduations and gatherings. Demographically savvy DFL primary voters are thinking differently.


  1. Yep, half of District 8 lives south of Moose Lake.

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