One of the easiest political predictions is to make this election is to pick US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) for reelection. As is seen in the MPR News and Star Tribune Minnesota Poll, and lacking a KSTP/Survey USA Poll for comparison, Klobuchar leads Rep Jim Newberger (R-15B, Becker) 60% to 30% with only 6% undecided.
The likelihood of Klobuchar’s 30-point projected margin over holding through the election is strong and will cast Newberger onto the Republican political funeral pile along with names like Mark Kennedy, Kurt Bills, Tim Pawlenty and Michelle Fischbach.
Klobuchar has consistently performed higher than other candidates on the ballot. In her first statewide run in 2006, she defeated Congressman Mark Kennedy (R-MN) by over 20-points; 58.06% to 37.94%. In her first re-election bid, she smoked Kurt Bills (R-MN) by nearly 35-points; 65.23% to 34.70%. Over the course of time, her profile has continued to elevate. As a possible Presidential candidate and a member of both the Senate Judiciary and the Agricultural Committees, her name is featured whenever a Judicial nominee is discussed or the Farm Bill receives attention.
Klobuchar far exceeds the Checks & Balances Rule of Thumb.
Her race will appear first on the ballot and the number of voters casting ballots in her favor has a potential coattail effect for all other DFLers in down-ballot races. In spite of voices to the contrary, fewer voters split their tickets here in Minnesota rather than elsewhere in the nation. But as is most often the case, in spite of it not happening in the DFL Primary Election, more DFLers voted for Governor than did for either US Senate race, voter’s general cast more votes for the first race on the ballot than they do in the subsequent races. There traditional is a ballot fall-off, but in the era of Donald Trump, we anticipate a lower amount of fall-off this election for the top four races on the ballot, US Senate, US Senate Special Election, Congress, and Governor. We do anticipate there will be a noticeable drop in the total votes cast in the Attorney General’s race.