Absentee Ballot and Early Voting Numbers

We have obtained the Absentee Ballot and Early Voting numbers from the Secretary of State’s Office. More votes came in on Election Day. We believe any ballot cast and postmarked on Election Day should be accepted, because the person did vote on the day in question, but as of right now, only votes that arrive by Election Day are accepted. Early voting accounted for 24.55% of the total votes cast.

County Total Transmitted Total Accepted
Statewide Totals: 730,853 637581
Hennepin 204,555 182469
Ramsey 68,133 60324
Dakota 61,312 55314
Anoka 36,831 33712
Washington 35,470 33370
Olmsted 19,832 17485
St. Louis 17,763 15349
Stearns 15,478 12783
Scott 13,200 11826
Carver 12,615 11474
Wright 11,477 10625
Itasca 10,712 8560
Crow Wing 9,344 7917
Blue Earth 9,581 7699
Sherburne 7,097 6530
Cass 7,695 5856
Rice 6,590 5814
Clay 6,943 5737
Polk 6,866 5138
Beltrami 5,653 4708
Otter Tail 4,772 4373
Carlton 4,872 4105
Nicollet 5,035 4083
Chisago 4,604 4075
Morrison 4,969 3964
Mower 4,947 3923
Goodhue 4,346 3917
Brown 4,282 3677
Le Sueur 4,774 3619
Becker 4,210 3553
Douglas 3,682 3403
Kandiyohi 3,818 3359
Hubbard 3,738 3076
Lyon 3,994 3047
Marshall 3,861 2993
Isanti 3,069 2791
Winona 3,219 2697
Steele 2,793 2592
Freeborn 2,919 2585
Roseau 3,353 2514
Benton 3,088 2455
Koochiching 3,014 2439
Cook 3,174 2345
McLeod 2,538 2221
Grant 2,711 2206
Nobles 2,726 2133
Aitkin 2,482 2092
Watonwan 2,697 2065
Pine 2,328 1942
Fillmore 2,604 1940
Meeker 2,442 1938
Wabasha 2,323 1934
Stevens 2,437 1930
Mille Lacs 2,211 1844
Rock 2,471 1768
Murray 2,107 1735
Chippewa 2,052 1733
Kittson 1,934 1709
Swift 2,110 1659
Pipestone 2,338 1578
Jackson 1,948 1498
Norman 1,986 1491
Lake Of The Woods 2,060 1481
Wilkin 1,823 1317
Martin 1,496 1316
Big Stone 1,492 1252
Pope 1,532 1244
Lake 1,435 1232
Dodge 1,355 1205
Lac Qui Parle 1,532 1181
Red Lake 1,332 1065
Pennington 1,164 998
Mahnomen 1,280 987
Todd 1,101 981
Houston 1,093 971
Kanabec 1,031 963
Waseca 1,093 963
Wadena 1,016 866
Traverse 1,077 855
Faribault 891 775
Yellow Medicine 900 740
Sibley 811 721
Redwood 785 710
Clearwater 854 658
Renville 652 589
Cottonwood 662 574
Lincoln 261 246

Takeaways from the 2018 Election

In Minnesota, the question over whether this is a blue, purple or red state has been laid to rest. Minnesota is a Blue state. No Republican has been elected statewide since 2008, and then only by a plurality. In this election, Attorney General candidate Doug Wardlow (R) received the highest percentage of any Republican candidate with 45.09% but that race against Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL-MN08) also had 316,645 or 9.83% fewer votes cast than in US Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (DFL-MN) reelection. This was slightly less than our prediction of a 10% fall off.

Fall of is a consistent reality in elections and it occurred in the following Special Election for US Senator Tina Smith (DFL-MN) where 8,558 or .33% fewer people voted in the subsequent contest. The third race on the ballot for Governor and saw an additional 67 people not vote on that race.

We have discussed this impact on elections down the ballot. In Ramsey County 245,409 voted in the Klobuchar US Senate race, but 45,150 fewer people voted in the Sheriff race which if all had voted down the ballot a different result could have occurred.

The consolidation of the state legislative delegation in the Metropolitan area contained by the 494/694 corridor is entirely blue, and many of the bordering suburbs are as well. This concentration is not the entirety of the DFL Party’s House majority, but it is the dominant portion. Pockets of House DFL support exist in the regional center Duluth and on the Iron Range, in Rochester, Mankato, Morehead, Bemidji, and St Cloud.

The DFL victories in 18 different contests resulted in a majority in the House of 75 votes and there is a recount pending which could extend it to 76. This will play a significant role in what priorities the body of origin for fiscal bills.

Communities with Republican representation should prepare for their own budget cuts and less financial support from the state.

As the lesson was taught at the hands of Republican majorities you reward your friends and crush your enemies, or at least starve them.

The Lessons from Trump

When Republicans took the State House Majority in 1999 they dramatically changed the services available for the DFL Minority. They provided the DFL with a far smaller budget and it resulted in the number of Legislative Assistants going from one for every two legislators to 1 for every three. In 2009, when the DFL returned to the Majority, they didn’t punish the Minority in the same way but were far more accommodating and Republican legislators retained one Legislative Assistant for every two legislators.

When Republicans regained control in 2015 the DFL Minority again was paired back to a one to three staff/member ratio. We expect the DFL will have learned its lessons this time.

Since its clear Republicans apply the Trump Doctrine they should reap what they sow. Elections have consequences.

The lessons learned from Donald J Trump (R) are very clear and in the places across Minnesota that voted with him should hear them loud and clear and in this instance, DFLers should be the messengers. Any community, city, town, township or county should be forewarned because you voted Republican you get nothing. Forget about you. The message is vote Democrat, learn to play ball or don’t play at all.

Pain is the only prime motivator in this political climate of Trump. The lessons he teaches are very transparent, selfishness, greed and protecting your toys, so that means because Minnesota is a Democratic state, Republicans you get Butkis. It’s pure and simple you what you deserve.

DFL House Majority Set to Defines Itself

Tonight, the DFL House Majority will meet at 7:00 pm in the State Office Building to vote on its leadership for the 2019-20 legislative session. House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman (DFL-36B, Brooklyn Park) is expected to stand and be elected as Speaker, but the question over the Majority Leaders post is an interesting one.

Traditionally, the DFL has maintained an urban/rural split between the two positions, but with the results of this election clearly showing the DFL majority is a configuration of a urban/suburban coalition with a spattering of rural regional center communities with DFL representation we think the majority leader will likely come from either Minneapolis or St Paul.

We will be awaiting the results. The names we are hearing for Majority Leader are Reps Rena Moran (DFL-65A, St Paul), Raymond Dehn (DFL-59B, Minneapolis), Ryan Winkler (DFL-46A, St Louis Park) and Rob Ecklund (DFL- 03A, International Falls).

The Emergence of Two New Major Parties.

In spite of withdrawing from the Attorney General’s race and endorsing the ultimate victor Noah Johnson of the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party received 145759 votes for 5.71% and Michael Ford of the Legal Marijuana Now Party in the State Auditor’s race secured 133938 votes for 5.29%.

Meaning both parties will receive major party status and have the ability to raise money through the Political Contribution Reimbursement program.

If the legislature passes a recreational cannabis bill and Governor-elect Tim Walz (DFL-MN) signs it as he has said he would, then the reason for these party’s existence is moot.

Run Carly Run

When Congressman Rick Nolan (DFL-MN08) announced he was ending his campaign for reelection the first name we thought of was former Rep Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing). She is currently the Executive Director for Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council. She is also engaged to former Rep Joe Radinovich (DFL-MN08). With the 2018 election over, with Radinovich’s loss after a vicious series of negative attacks the people of the Iron Range need to look for a new leader and Melin would be a great choice.

We said to her during the campaign if Joe loses she should step forward. St Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber (R-MN08) won the seat outright with 159,366 or 50.72% and the outcome of the race in the MN08 was not affected by the third party candidate Ray “Skip Sandman (GRMN) who only receive 12746 votes or 4.06%.

Melin could mount a shadow campaign for the next two years and she will not be the target of the same smear tactics Radinovich received.

So, Run Carly Run.

Fact: It’s the Size of the Base that Matters

As we listen to the number of attendees at Donald J Trump (R) rallies across the nation there is an interesting assumption—one we are skeptical about—that comes along with media reports, and that is the Republican voting base is equal to or competitive with the Democratic base. This election will come down to a simple fact, turnout. The early voters number here, as of yesterday, 539,806, only 28,390 of the highwater mark in 2016, and it is worth noting more will be counted from late yesterday and today. We expect we will exceed the total from the last Presidential election year.

Traditionally, high turnout favors Democrats and low turnout favors Republicans, as the bevy of reports come in trying to measure the expectations of turnout, the enthusiasm factor, gap or otherwise, the sentiments continue to make claims of parity. We think this is largely a hedge by Mainstream Media trying to avoid the Trump effect they missed two years ago.

Additionally, one factor discussed, which might be a better indicator is why negative campaigning works, and that is people are more willing to vote against something that they are for something, and in this case, the prime motivator is a vote against Trump. To us, this means Democratic votes will be higher than Republican votes.

Now granted this may not be a universal constant in every place across the nation, but since the vote for President is the only collective vote our nation has, and this election is viewed from all quarters as a referendum on Trump, it begs the question. If the Democratic vote increases by five percent and the support for Trump falls four points because his vote is a vote for, then cumulative is a nine-point advantage.

Of course, this will occur in a cookie cutter fashion across the nation where different pockets operate in their own unique fashion, but the point Is made. History, shows incumbent Presidents lose on average 30 seats in the US House and four US Senate seats. Trump has proven to buck historical trends but this election will determine if that trend continues.

Here in Minnesota, the best measure will be seen in the US House races, of the four toss-up races in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 8th, if all go to the DFL candidates the Trump effect will have been met and conquered in the two districts that represent one quarter of the state’s population of 2010. If the mix is 3-1 or 2-2 then we expect it will reflect the rural and urban divide, because it will be likely the loses are in the 8th first and the 1st second.

The impact will also be felt in the legislative contests, since the DFL has one shot in the Special election in Senate District 13 to regain control of the Majority, the vote between DFL candidate Stearns County Commissioner Joe Persky and Rep Jeff Howe (R-13A, Rockville) like the 8th Congressional District will provide a telling of the Trump effect in Greater Minnesota.  In the state House, the rural-urban divide that is already present will likely continue, but the question is will the DFL have enough wind in its sails to gain back 12 seats to foster inter own Majority.

Remember, the DFL does start with the likelihood of one seat, because of the end of the campaign of Rep Jim Knoblach (R-14B, St Cloud) because of the sexual abuse allegations rendered by his daughter, which we, not MPR first brought to light in 2017.

Will Blomberg’s Last-Minute Push Have Any Effect?

When former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) spoke in his 90-second commercial at the end of 60 Minutes his words seemed to have power. Maybe that was because it was honest, heartfelt and legitimate. Bloomberg while highlighting his own political choices painted himself, as media reports often have as a middle-of-the-road common-sense person, who had reached a logical conclusion, which is the Republicans had been given the opportunity to change the entirety of our political system, they held all of the reins of power, and they have failed and the only rational response is to only vote for Democratic candidates this election.

If Bloomberg is seen by moderate middle-of-the-roads voters his words may have an impact, he at least may shift the dial slightly, but if this is a close election then every factor capable of having any impact should be brought to bear.

As the dust settles on 2018’s mid-term elections, if voters across the nation reference the Bloomberg commercial as affecting their vote, if voters say they were going to stay home until there heard from Bloomberg, then his words mattered significantly.

The Need for a Truth in Campaign Advertising Board

If elected officials want to advance legislation that will have a broad appeal to all Minnesotan’s they should be calling for a Truth in Campaign Advertising Board. As we have listened to the sickening degree to the number of Campaign Ads in which one candidate spouts half-truths about another and then later we see another commercial about how one television state put the ad to the truth test and it failed, then the question is why does that station continue to run the ads in question.

We believe there needs to be an independent body, like the Office of Administrative Hearings, that sits judgment of these commercials and provides a ruling on their authenticity and veracity. Their ruling on a local scale, simple and understandable by the general public should provide an indicator for media entities to follow.

If a commercial does not at lease rate as a C+ then media stations could decide not to run the ad. If the ad is reworked then another ruling can be rendered, but this way we know we are at least receiving a majority of honest information.

This means every commercial could be run with a stamp of approval, like the Good Housekeeping Seal.

The future disclaimer could read A- on the Truth in Campaign Advertising.

Subscribe to Checks & Balances

If you find what you are reading to be unique, thoughtful and informative, we ask you to subscribe to Checks & Balances. Since our inception on December 81995, we have regularly scooped the Mainstream Media, we have provided insight into complex political questions and played a role as a repository of many political events which now grace our archives.

Soon we will be locking down our archives to only, paid subscribers and we want you to be one.

Show your value of what we do and subscribe to either our General Subscription or our Premium Subscription. With each, you will gain more access to our work.

Subscribe Now! 

NPR Censors Opposition Comments on RCV

The NPR show 1A ran a program on Ranked Choice Voting today, and Checks & Balances Publisher Shawn Towle sought a spot on the panel. When called back by producer Andi McDaniel he was informed the panel was full but could submit a comment through the voicemail which...

The Two Realities of Tim Pawlenty

During his administration, Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) created consistent deficits. Each year he controlled the budget the numbers didn’t add up. In response to the first deficit, his fiscal wizardry decided to rob the Tobacco Settlement and use the endowment, as...

Reading the Tea Leaves in the MN Governor’s Race

With the release of the Suffolk University/St Cloud Times Poll of likely voters taken 08/17-08/20 the poll aligns with where we believe this race will finish with Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN01) prevailing over Hennepin County Commission Jeff Johnson (R-MN) with a 5-6...

read more

2018 State Fair Polls

Once again, we attended the Great-Minnesota-Get-Together and stopped by the legislative booths in the Education Building. We collected the Annual Polls from the House and Senate. As we have said, this often is an indicator of where the majorities legislative...

read more

Ellison Endorsed for Attorney General

Accused abuser Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL-MN05) attended the DFL Central Committee in Cambridge. During his speech, he said, he takes the claims seriously and had to leave right away to catch a plane. There were protesters outside of the building. A delegate...

read more

Subscribe to Checks and Balances

Checks & Balances is experiencing some dramatic changes. We are creating a more robust site for your viewing pleasure.
 

Subscribe to Checks and Balances

Donate to support Checks & Balances

Checks & Balances is the site of the first paid political advertisement in the history of the Internet.
 

State(s)

Archives