6:30 a.m. The morning after With Mark Dayton holding a ten-thousand-vote lead int he gubernatorial race, Minnesota woke up to the prospect of a mandatory statewide recount. Republicans took both houses of the Minnesota legislature.
Nationally—the Democrats lost the House of Representatives (and veteran MN Congressmember Jim Oberstar), though they are holding on to a majority in the U.S. Senate.
This article will be revised and updated as more figures come in.
As Mark Dayton holds on to a slim ten-thousand-vote lead (at 6:20 a.m.) in the gubernatorial race, and incumbents Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Attorney General Lori Swanson, and State Auditor Rebecca Otto all easily winning re-election. But the big DFL loss came up north, as Republican Chip Cravaack unseated 18-term Congressional veteran Jim Oberstar. At 5:40 a.m., his margin was a narrow but seemingly decisive 5,000 votes. (With four counties in CD 8 still reporting incomplete results, an estimated 13,000 votes remained to be counted. For official figures on this and other Minnesota races, see the Secretary of State’s website.)
Minnesota recount? You betcha!
What do Minnesotans fear more than the avalanche of negative ads leading up to an election? A recount of that election. If less than one-half of one-percent of the votes for Governor separate Mark Dayton from Tom Emmer, Minnesotans will see another statewide recount. An automatic recount is triggered when the race is that close unless the losing candidate waives the right to a recount.
As of 4 AM, unofficial results showed Democrat Mark Dayton ahead of Republican Tom Emmer on the hairy edge of that one-half of one-percent margin with 99 percent of the vote counted. The race would need to be closer than 10, 499 votes out of 2,09,825 cast. Dayton is leading Emmer by 9,324. Unless Dayton can widen his lead by about 1,175 votes, an automatic recount will be triggered.
If the final official count shows Dayton winning by .5% or more, there still could be a recount if Emmer and the Republican Party are willing to pay for one.
There’s a third option as well. A “test” recount. Emmer could ask that up to three precincts be recounted, pay for those recounts and then decide whether to go ahead with a statewide recount.
Minnesota’s last statewide recount between Senator Al Franken and now former Senator Norm Coleman lasted about two months and then was followed by an election contest trial that dragged on for another six months.
Either candidate could file an election contest lawsuit within five days of the canvassing board certifying the results. The State Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday November 23rd and declare a result no later than three days after completing the canvass.
Counties with incomplete vote totals
While 95.77 percent of all precincts in the state have reported vote totals, a dozen counties still have incomplete returns. Best estimate of votes still unreported: about 35,000 statewide, about 13,000 of which are in CD 8, mostly in St. Louis County. As of 6:30 a.m., here’s the list:
Aitkin 57.41 percent of precincts reporting
Cass 86.11 percent of precincts reporting
Houston No votes reported
Itasca 90.91 percent of precincts reporting
Kandiyohi 51.06 percent of precincts reporting
Lyon 72.73 percent of precincts reporting
McLeod 92.86 percent of precincts reporting
Martin 54.05 percent of precincts reporting
Nicollet 6.06 percent of precincts reporting
Renville 86.84 percent of precincts reporting
Saint Louis 88.76 percent of precincts reporting
Wright 97.62 percent of precincts reportin
At 5 a.m., the Pioneer Press reported that Republicans now hold a 36-31 majority in the Minnesota Senate and a 73-61 margin in the house. The DFL’s stunning defeat came as they tumbled from an 87/47 majority position in the House, and a 46/21 majority in the Senate.
Here in Ramsey County, there’s a new sheriff in town. Bob Fletcher had more campaign signs in more places, but Matt Bostrom beat him in votes, by a comfortable margin. In other Ramsey County results, John Choi won the county attorney’s race.
In Minneapolis, the school board race remained uncertain, with clear (and expected) victories for Jenny Arneson, Alberto Monserrate and Hussein Samatar in the district races. Richard Mammen was a winner in the at-large race, but in the race for the second at-large seat, Rebecca Gagnon eked out a win over Chanda Baker Smith by about a thousand votes.
With Cravaack’s win in CD 8, Minnesota’s Congressional delegation is now evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.
1-Tim Walz (D) easily beat back a Republican challenger.
2-John Kline (R)
3-Erik Paulsen (R)
4-Betty McCollum (D)
5-Keith Ellison (D)
6-Michele Bachmann (R) won the most expensive Congressional race in the country.
7-Collin Peterson (D)
8-Chip Cravaack’s narrow win was decided about 4 a.m. Jim Oberstar (D) has served in the House since 1975. According to Wikipedia, “His lowest winning percentage was 59 percent in 1992, but since then has not earned less than 60 percent of the vote.” Until now.
Around the country, a few races of note:
- In Nevada, Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid defeated Republican Tea Party challenger Sharon Angle.
- In Wisconsin, progressive Democrat Russ Feingold was defeated by Tea Partier Ron Johnson.
- According to the New York Times, Democrat Barbara Boxer won a U.S. Senate seat in California, and Democrat Jerry Brown won the governor’s race over Meg Whitman.
- I-am-not-a-witch Tea Partier Christine O’Donnell lost to Democrat Chris Coons in Delaware.
- Republican and libertarian Rand Paul won a Senate seat in Kentucky, and will join his father, Texas Representative Ron Paul, on Capitol Hill.
- Two other Tea Party victories: Marco Rubio, headed from Florida to the Senate, and Senator Jim DeMint, returning to the Senate from South Carolina.