Update on MN State Senate Races

DFL’ers have three major objectives in November: elect Joe Biden, elect Tina Smith, flip the Minnesota State Senate. The Democrats only need to flip two seats to win control of the Senate. Because of the interest in the Minnesota State Senate, in March I provided an analysis of this year’s contests to control the Senate. Before the August 11 primary election, I’m now providing an update to the spreadsheet that I included in my March post.

The new worksheet includes additional candidates who filed to run before the June 1 deadline and identifies the party-endorsed candidate if more than one Democrat or Republican is running for a seat. I also included the websites and Twitter accounts for the endorsed DFL candidates in the competitive races.

My March analysis was based on two factors: the 2016 margin of victory for each incumbent senator and the 2018 margins of victory for the two incumbent House representatives in every Senate District. Since those data points have not changed since March, my conclusions about the competitiveness of Senate races have not changed much. Based on recent developments, I added SD47 as a target district for Democrats and SD52 as a target district for Republicans. Here are my analysis and conclusions from March.

Analysis
I divided the competitive races into five categories. (To make the categories easier to understand, each is described from the DFL viewpoint. To get the GOP viewpoint, reverse GOP and DFL in the descriptions.)

DFL Highest Priority Targeted District
Category 1: GOP senator, 2 DFL representatives. Most likely to flip.
Category 2: GOP senator, 1 DFL representative, 1 GOP representative. DFL representative’s winning margin in 2018 at least 15 points higher than GOP representative’s winning margin. DFL leaning.
Category 3: GOP senator, 1 DFL representative, 1 GOP representative. GOP senator’s winning margin in 2016 less than 15 points. DFL representative’s winning margin in 2018 about even with GOP representative’s winning margin. Toss-up.

Other DFL Targeted Districts
Category 4: GOP senator, 1 DFL representative, 1 GOP representative. Senator’s winning margin in 2016 greater than 15 points. DFL representative’s winning margin in 2018 15 points less than GOP representative’s winning margin. GOP leaning.
Category 5: GOP senator, 2 GOP representatives. GOP senator won by less than 15 points in 2016. One of the GOP representatives won by less than 15 points in 2018. Upset possibility.

Conclusions
Forty-two races are not competitive, 23 for Democrats and 19 for Republicans.

The DFL has sixteen competitive races against incumbent Republicans.
Most likely to flip: SD44, SD5
DFL leaning: SD26, SD28
Toss-up: SD05, SD11, SD14
GOP leaning: SD20, SD 25, SD 33, SD34, SD38, SD39, SD55
Upset possibility: SD21, SD47
Eight are in greater Minnesota and eight are in the suburbs.

The GOP has nine competitive races against incumbent DFLers.
Most likely to flip: SD58
Toss-up: SD27, SD37, SD54
Upset possibility: SD36, SD48, SD52, SD53, SD57
One in greater Minnesota and eight are in the suburbs.

Here is the picture of the updated spreadsheet for the 2020 competitive races for the Minnesota State Senate.

MN State Senate Competive Races

You can download the spreadsheet for all 67 Minnesota Senate races by clicking here: Updated Status of 2020 MN Senate Races

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