DFL Sweeps State-wide Races

DFL incumbent Governor Tim Walz easily defeated Republican challenger Scott Jensen by a 52.2% to 44.6% margin. Walz built up huge vote margins in Hennepin and Ramsey counties early, and Jensen could not make up the ground outside the seven county metro area. DFL incumbent Secretary of State Steve Simon also easily won his race over Republican Kim Crockett by a 54.5% to 45.4% margin. The Attorney General and State Auditor races were much closer. Incumbent State Auditor Julie Blaha (47.47%) defeated Republican challenger Ryan Wilson (47.12%) by 8,745 votes out of 2,458,253 votes cast. The Attorney General race was also very tight. Incumbent Attorney General DFLer Keith Ellison (50.37%) defeated Republican challenger Jim Schultz (49.53%) by 20,857.

DFL Narrowly Takes Minnesota Senate

With only a one-vote majority (34-33), the DFL caucus will take control of the Minnesota Senate. Key to the Democrats’ success were three tight races. Republican Roger Chamberlain was the only Senate incumbent to lose, bested by first-time candidate Heather Gustafson in Senate District 36. An open seat in the eastern suburban Senate District 41 saw DFL candidate Judy Seeberger defeat Republican Tom Dippel, while two open House seats in the district were won by Republican candidates. Meanwhile, in a northern Minnesota seat long-held by retiring Senator Tom Bakk, the DFL candidate Grant Hauschild beat the well-known business leader Andrea Zupancich.

Democrats Grow Majority in House

In each of the last four mid-presidential-term elections (2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018) control of the Minnesota House of Representatives has changed hands. National and local trends in the economy seemed to suggest that this trend would continue. Consequently, for months, House Republicans had been predicting victory, and as Election Day neared, a big victory. Bucking all trends, the Democrat House leader, Speaker Melissa Hortman came out on top. Prior to the election the DFL held a 69-65 majority. After the election, this majority increased by one member to 70-64. Two rural DFL members lost: Rob Ecklund (3A-International Falls) and Mary Murphy (3B-Hermantown); while four Republicans lost: Susan Akland (18A-St. Peter), Donald Raleigh (32B-Circle Pines), Greg Boe (48B-Chanhassen), and Eric Mortenson (54A-Shakopee).

Minnesota Congressional Incumbents All Win

The Congressional races in Minnesota turned out to be a snooze-fest, as all incumbents won. The only race that was within ten percentage points was the hotly-contested District 2 race, a rematch between DFL incumbent Angie Craig and Republican Tyler Kistner. Though billed as one of the most likely “flips” in the country, Congresswoman Craig defeated Kistner by a relatively safe five-percent margin.

Other Takeaways

  • It appears two state-level House races (3A and 3B) are close enough for a recount, but even if the results change, it won’t impact the majority.
  • The far-right group Action 4 Liberty didn’t fare well, as its most high-profile candidates lost – including the only incumbent to identify with the group (Erik Mortenson).
  • Republican Gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen’s vote total of 1,119,182 was the lowest of any statewide Republican race, while Attorney General candidate Jim Schultz’s total was the highest, at 1,232,839. Both Secretary of State candidate Kim Crockett (1,119,215 votes) and State Auditor candidate Ryan Wilson (1,159,086) received more votes than Jensen.
  • Approximately one-third of the legislature will be non-incumbents, although some of the “new” members have served in legislature before, either previously or in the other body.
  • For a listing of the results of all Minnesota races, please click here.

Important: Please note that all of the results and analysis are based on the published results as of Wednesday morning. Results are subject to change as information is updated. Please check the Minnesota Secretary of State website for the latest results.

November 9, 2022