Nolan survives Trump wave in MN-8

shawshank-redemption-tim-robbins-andy-dufresne-rain-sceneDespite a 13-point victory by Donald Trump in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan narrowly held on to his seat against Republican challenger Stewart Mills.

Nolan received almost 50.2 percent of the vote to Mills’ 49.6 — about half a point. Just over 2,000 votes separated the candidates in the most expensive Congressional race in the United States.

Perhaps Mills should have run more ads?

After an evening of shocking results that favored Republicans, waking up to a Nolan victory was surprising. It’s a testament to Nolan’s skills as a wily political survivor. His earlier congressional career in the 1970s included wins in conservative areas. Now Nolan has won three straight elections deemed “toss-ups” by national pundits.

Nolan’s 2016 victory has to be the most amazing, though. Donald Trump clobbered Hillary Clinton in MN-8. Minnesota Senate District 5 and House 5A and 5B both lurched hard to the right, knocking out three DFL incumbents.

How did Nolan do it? I suppose the quick answer is to say that Duluth held up for the DFL. Elsewhere, a small but significant number of Trump voters were were willing to split their ticket.

In other words, with apologies to Stephen King, Rick Nolan crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side.




  1. I watched Nolan’s ads. He contributed to the “river of shit” as much as anyone.

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