News Releases

Analyzing Klobuchar’s Election Performance by the Numbers

National & Minnesota Report

In 2006, current US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) defeated three-term Congressman Mark Kennedy (R-06MN) by a sizable margin to fill the seat vacated by US Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN).

Party Candidate Vote Total %
Republican MARK KENNEDY 835,653 37.94%
Democratic-Farmer-Labor AMY KLOBUCHAR







To Republicans, this came as quite a surprise since they considered Kennedy to be a giant killer because he had beaten Congressman David Minge (D-MN02) by less than a percentage point in 2000, and

Party Candidate Vote Total %


fended off Patty Wetterling (DFL-MN) twice.

In her subsequent race in 2012, her only race during a Presidential election, with President Barack Obama (D) and Vice-President Joe Biden (D) at the top of the ticket, she dominated.

Democratic-Farmer-Labor AMY KLOBUCHAR 1,854,595 65.23%
Republican KURT BILLS 867,974 30.53%

She carried all Congressional Districts. Her poor performance district being the 6th she stomped Bills (R) with 207,462 votes or 58.54% compared to his 131,551 votes or 37.12%. Her highest performing district was as expected in the 5th which she carried with 284,354 votes or 78.59%.

For your edification, we thought you should know we at Checks & Balances encouraged the Secretary of State to display statewide races by Congressional District and they started doing so in 2012.

2012 CD                 Party    Candidate Vote Total      % Winner
  1 Republican KURT BILLS 107,055 32.19%
1 Democratic-Farmer-Labor AMY KLOBUCHAR 207,533 62.40% X
2 Republican KURT BILLS 125,988 34.37%
2 Democratic-Farmer-Labor AMY KLOBUCHAR 226,102 61.68% X
3 Republican KURT BILLS 134,333 34.31%
3 Democratic-Farmer-Labor AMY KLOBUCHAR 244,967 62.56% X
4 Republican KURT BILLS 88,336 24.64%
4 Democratic-Farmer-Labor AMY KLOBUCHAR 255,214 71.18% X
5 Republican KURT BILLS 61,738 17.06%
5 Democratic-Farmer-Labor AMY KLOBUCHAR 284,354 78.59% X
6 Republican KURT BILLS 131,551 37.12%
6 Democratic-Farmer-Labor AMY KLOBUCHAR 207,462 58.54% X
7 Republican KURT BILLS 111,575 34.13%
7 Democratic-Farmer-Labor AMY KLOBUCHAR 200,024 61.19% X
8 Republican KURT BILLS 107,398 30.62%
8 Democratic-Farmer-Labor AMY KLOBUCHAR 228,939 65.26%


The 2018 election was another example of Klobuchar dominating statewide against another Republican fall guy former state Rep Jim Newberger (R-MN).

Republican Jim Newberger 940,437 36.21%
Democratic-Farmer-Labor Amy Klobuchar 1,566,174


Once again, she carried all eight congressional districts but the race in CD6 and CD7 was separated by less than a percentage point, but her sheer supremacy in CD4 & CD5, made the two greater Minnesota districts a mere footnote.

2018 CD Party Candidate Vote Total % Winner
1 Republican Jim Newberger 124,411 42.33%
1 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Amy Klobuchar 158,443 53.91% X
2 Republican Jim Newberger 128,168 37.63%
2 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Amy Klobuchar 200,736 58.94% X
3 Republican Jim Newberger 127,339 34.79%
3 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Amy Klobuchar 228,819 62.52% X
4 Republican Jim Newberger 83,634 25.23%
4 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Amy Klobuchar 235,512 71.06% X
5 Republican Jim Newberger 51,787 14.87%
5 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Amy Klobuchar 282,695 81.17% X
6 Republican Jim Newberger 153,520 48.17%
6 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Amy Klobuchar 153,818 48.26% X
7 Republican Jim Newberger 136,559 48.31%
7 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Amy Klobuchar 136,894 48.43% X
8 Republican Jim Newberger 135,019 42.82%
8 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Amy Klobuchar 169,257 53.68% X


By all indicators, Klobuchar can take on and take out all comers, and since this race will once again feature a Presidential contest, we here at Checks & Balances all statewide races will favor the Democratic ticket and despite the eight congressional districts being divided evenly between the two parties Minnesota will be blue for President and the US Senate races. The question is will it be Klobuchar who has the coattails for Biden?

Secretary Simon Clarifies the 14th Amendment Question

Minnesota Report

Yesterday, Secretary of State Steve Simon (DFL) released the following statement regarding applying the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution here in Minnesota. We also will remind you, dedicated readers, about our article on this same topic which is literally a few articles below, entitled Can Minnesota Prevent Trump from the Ballot?

September 7, 2023CONTACT:
Cassondra Knudson
651-274-2534Sec. Steve Simon Statement on Determining Eligibility for Presidential Candidates

Correction: An earlier version of this statement misstated the deadline for candidate submissions for the Presidential Nominating Primary and the date of the Presidential Nominating Primary. The correct deadline for candidate submissions for the Presidential Nominating Primary is January 2, 2024 and the Presidential Nominating Primary will be held on March 5, 2024.

SAINT PAUL — Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon issued this statement regarding the procedure for determining eligibility for presidential candidates:

“As the Secretary of State, my responsibility is to ensure the people of Minnesota have free, fair, secure, and accurate elections. Every eligible Minnesotan deserves the opportunity to cast their ballot for the candidate of their choosing.

Over the past several weeks, my office has received hundreds of emails, calls, and letters regarding a legal argument that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution calls into question the eligibility of former President Donald Trump to run for office again. 

The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State does not have legal authority to investigate a candidate’s eligibility for office. In the case of presidential candidates, the major political parties will submit names of candidates to our office for the Presidential Nomination Primary by January 2, 2024. Those submissions will appear on the ballot for the March 5, 2024 contest unless a court says otherwise. A similar process and presumption will apply to the November 5, 2024 election. 

Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. 204B.44) allows one or more people to challenge in court the eligibility of a candidate to appear on a ballot. Our office will continue to honor the outcome of that process, as we have in the past.” 

Candidates on the ballot of the Presidential Nominating Primary (Minn. Stat. 207A.13)  

Subd. 2.Candidates on the ballot.
(a) Each party participating in the presidential nomination primary must determine which candidates are to be placed on the presidential nomination primary ballot for that party. The chair of each participating party must submit to the secretary of state the names of the candidates to appear on the ballot for that party no later than 63 days before the presidential nomination primary. Once submitted, changes must not be made to the candidates that will appear on the ballot.

(b) No later than the seventh day before the presidential nomination primary, the chair of each participating party must submit to the secretary of state the names of write-in candidates, if any, to be counted for that party.

Candidacy (Minn. Stat. 204B.04)  

Subdivision 1.Major party candidates.
No individual shall be named on any ballot as the candidate of more than one major political party. No individual who has been certified by a canvassing board as the nominee of any major political party shall be named on any ballot as the candidate of any other major political party at the next ensuing general election.

Subd. 2.Candidates seeking nomination by primary.
No individual who seeks nomination for any partisan or nonpartisan office at a primary shall be nominated for the same office by nominating petition.

Candidate Filing Errors and Omissions (Minn. Stat. 204B.44

(a) Any individual may file a petition in the manner provided in this section for the correction of any of the following errors, omissions, or wrongful acts which have occurred or are about to occur:

(1) an error or omission in the placement or printing of the name or description of any candidate or any question on any official ballot, including the placement of a candidate on the official ballot who is not eligible to hold the office for which the candidate has filed;
(2) any other error in preparing or printing any official ballot;
(3) failure of the chair or secretary of the proper committee of a major political party to execute or file a certificate of nomination;
(4) any wrongful act, omission, or error of any election judge, municipal clerk, county auditor, canvassing board or any of its members, the secretary of state, or any other individual charged with any duty concerning an election.

(b) The petition shall describe the error, omission, or wrongful act and the correction sought by the petitioner. The petition shall be filed with any judge of the supreme court in the case of an election for state or federal office or any judge of the district court in that county in the case of an election for county, municipal, or school district office. The petitioner shall serve a copy of the petition on the officer, board or individual charged with the error, omission, or wrongful act, on all candidates for the office in the case of an election for state, federal, county, municipal, or school district office, and on any other party as required by the court. Upon receipt of the petition the court shall immediately set a time for a hearing on the matter and order the officer, board or individual charged with the error, omission or wrongful act to correct the error or wrongful act or perform the duty or show cause for not doing so. In the case of a review of a candidate’s eligibility to hold office, the court may order the candidate to appear and present sufficient evidence of the candidate’s eligibility. The court shall issue its findings and a final order for appropriate relief as soon as possible after the hearing. Failure to obey the order is contempt of court.




Will Different States Disqualify Trump for Election

National & Minnesota Report
The question over Donald J Trump’s (R) ballot access might be the ultimate determiner of the 2023 election. Since the focus of a presidential race is always the Electoral College and the ability to get 270 votes if enough states bar Trump from the ballot, he could be nullified, especially in swing states. This makes this article interesting. Palm Beach County lawyer files legal challenge to disqualify Trump from 2024 presidential race
The use of the Fourteenth Amendment is an ever-increasing interest and is indeed the crux of many important voting issues because it contains the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses and the following passage.
Section 3
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Charles P Pierce wrote the following piece in Esquire magazine,  The 14th Amendment Has Always Been Pretty Clear to Me. He spells out his understanding of the amendment.
Since, the battleground states of Arizona (11), Florida (30), Georgia (16), Michigan (15), Minnesota (10), Nevada (6), North Carolina (16), Ohio (17), Pennsylvania (19), and Wisconsin (10) account for 150 Electoral College votes, any denial of ballot access anywhere could have significant implications, especially in Florida.
In 2016, Trump won with 306 electors and Hillary Clinton received only 232, despite winning the popular vote. In 2020, the tables flipped perfectly and Joe Biden won with 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, with Arizona (11), Georgia (16), Michigan (15), Pennsylvania (19), and Wisconsin (10) all voting for Biden and their collective 71 Electoral College votes making the difference.

Can Minnesota Prevent Trump from the Ballot?

National & Minnesota Report

Because Minnesota became a state just prior to the Civil War (April 12, 1861 – April 9, 1865) and the adoption of its constitution on October 13, 1857, and includes Article I Bill of Rights Sec. 9. Treason defined. Treason against the state consists only in levying war against the state, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act or on confession in open court.
Because Minnesota is a legislative state ballot access, though normally perfunctory, could deny Donald J Trump (R) ballot access through a legislative vote. The fact, the House of Representatives is the only legislative body on the ballot in 2024, means if both were to decide his name could be denied and any written ballot, would be considered spoiled.
Subd. 6.Candidate’s eligibility to hold office.

Upon receipt of a certified copy of a final judgment or order of a court of competent jurisdiction that a person who has filed an affidavit of candidacy or who has been nominated by petition:

(1) has been convicted of treason or a felony and the person’s civil rights have not been restored;

(2) is under guardianship in which the court order revokes the ward’s right to vote; or

(3) has been found by a court of law to be legally incompetent;

the filing officer shall notify the person by certified mail at the address shown on the affidavit or petition, and, for offices other than President of the United States, Vice President of the United States, United States Senator, and United States Representative in Congress, shall not certify the person’s name to be placed on the ballot. The actions of a filing officer under this subdivision are subject to judicial review under section 204B.44.

Here is a newer provision.

If a person is convicted of a felony or previous treason and has not had the person’s civil rights restored, under section 204B.10 the person’s name shall not be certified to be placed on a ballot.

More for Your Life at the Fair

Minnesota Report

We were on hand to witness and even suggested this picture of US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and the different firefighter calendar models at the Great-Minnesota-Get-Together. Since this picture was taken on opening day, US Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) one-upped the senior Senator by being hosted into the arms of the burly men.


2023 Minnesota State Fair Polls

Minnesota Report

Each year we publish two (nonscientific) polls from the state legislative booths at the fair. Upon completion of the 12-Day August event, the legislative information offices release the results. Historically, we have found issues included in the survey often are discussed as legislative items.

In 2022, two questions were asked and they reappear this year. One is whether the Metropolitan Council should be an elected body and whether the state should legalize sports betting.

2023 House of Representatives State Fair Poll

2023 Senate State Fair Poll

Trump’s Fourth Indictment

National, Georgia Report

If the indictment of Donald J Trump (R) results in results in a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) conviction then he should then be referred to as The Diapered Don. This is due to his wearing adult diapers before The Apprentice, due to overuse of Adderall is an attempt to make himself smarter, which clearly failed.

If you read the 98-page indictment in its entirety if proven, you will see how corrupt, morally bankrupt, and a threat to our democracy Trump truly is.

In this case, if it proceeds first, is probably the best at showing how far he is willing to go to protect himself from prison and if he had only been willing to accept himself as a loser, he wouldn’t have any problems at all.


An Element of the Omnibus Environment Bill is an Economic Engine

Minnesota Report

One aspect of HF2310, Omnibus Environment, Climate, and Energy appropriations is its economic boost. Because of the provisions to extend the use of crossbows to all archery hunting options for people below 60, crossbow sales and accessories are having a robust surge. This is significant because a professional crossbow can exceed $1,500.00.

Not to mention the quarrels, and cranking mechanism if it is not self-contained and the target, because a crossbow bolt can fly through a regular archery target easily and fly well beyond.

This legislation is a testament to the respective authors’ Rep Rick Hansen (DFL-53B, South St Paul, and Sen Foung Hawj (DFL-67, St Paul).

In fact, at a recent trip to a Maplewood archery range, we saw father and son who were sighting in their new crossbows and they clearly said the change in law is why they purchased their equipment.

Trump Polling Numbers in Key States Falter

National and Minnesota Report Yesterday, articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post spelled good news for the former Vice-President Joe Biden’s campaign (D).

Senate Bonding Then and Now (2018 v 2020)

Minnesota Report Two years ago, the Republican controlled State Senate brought forward it’s Capitol Investment Bill, which failed to pass on a party line vote of 34-33, seven votes short of the 2/3rds majority of 41 votes. What is interesting I what the Republicans...

Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Page

Minnesota Report On Friday, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) along with Commissioner Jan Malcolm released the State of Minnesota’s comprehensive COVID-19 page on the Department of Health’s Website. Additionally, the MN House also has a page which provides more and...

Trump’s Continued Call for Hydroxychloroquine

National Report In spite of not having scientific support for his position Donald J Trump (R) continues to put forward his contention that the use of Hydroxychloroquine a drug for Malaria and Lupus and Erythromycin a drug for bacterial infections as a panacea to the...

Walz Executive Orders During Pandemic

Minnesota Report As we are in the midst of the second week of the Stay at Home Executive Order 20-20 more orders are coming from Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) to stipulate what options are available to our state’s citizens. Today, Executive Order 20-25 Authorizing Peace...

The Coming of the Four Horsemen

If you want to be memorable in Minnesota State Capitol politics it is good if you are referred to as something other than your name. It is often helpful when a term or a phrase can be applied to your, group, issue or initiative. If you want to be known as something...

2018 House State Fair Poll

Minnesota Report We at Checks & Balances are continuing our tradition of publishing the State Fair Polls found at the State Fair booths in the Education Building. Again, as we have said before, these provide an insight into the mindset and the issues of interest...

2018 Senate State Fair Poll

Minnesota Report State Senate  2016 State Fair Poll Questions (Choose one answer per question)   Demographics Residence Minneapolis/St. Paul Rural Suburban Regional hub of at least 40,000 people (Rochester, Duluth, St. Cloud, Mankato, Moorhead) Another state No...

Leadership Shuffles

Minnesota Report First, it was the rapid one-week ouster of Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan, then the announcement by Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) leaving the leadership post and not seeking reelection, followed by the more surprising...

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Legislative Return/Special Session 2020

Minnesota Report We are hearing the legislature will likely be recalled for Special Session June 12th, which is just before Governor Tim Walz’ (DFL-MN) last peacetime emergency declaration is set to expire. In order to declare another one, he will need to receive...

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Alcohol From Restaurant to You

Minnesota Report  The House and the Senate have agreed to allow alcohol sales to be purchased from restaurants, during the COVID-19 crisis, but only beer and wine. The problem with this is with liquor stores still open the cost will be higher without an added benefit,...

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