Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Minnesota aftermath

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U.S Presidential Election

Minnesota ends up giving the 10 coveted electoral votes to Obama, the democratic nominee (as usual). Obama and Biden won 52.8% of the total vote (1,546,021 votes). Romney and Ryan picked up 45.1% (1,320,048 votes).

Voter Turnout

The number of voters who casted a ballot in the presidential race was 2,938,947. In the last election 2,921,147 turned up at the polls. This is based on 99.93% of all precincts reporting so it will increase slightly. Although the raw number in the highest ever, the 76% turnout based on eligible voters is actually not the highest percentage compared to 78% in 2008.

U.S Senator and U.S House Races

Incumbent Klobuchar picked up 65.26% of the vote winning the seat in Senate for the DFLers once again. Bills came no where close with only 30.62%. Klobuchar visited all 87 Minnesota counties, saying “Meeting with people in cities and towns across our state inspires my work in the Senate.” Bills followed suit attempting to complete his 36 day tour of all 87 counties as well.

Bachmann survived a seriously tight race against millionaire Jim Graves winning by only 1.2%. Graves conceded the race around 10 a.m. Wednesday, dropping talks of a recount. In total, Bachmann spent $11 million from her congressional account. That is seven times more than Graves and approximately $65 per vote.

Rick Nolan can now call himself the “new veteran” beating Cravaack 54.28% to 45.39%. Legislature 

Democrats have seized back control of both chambers in Minnesota after both chambers went to Republicans in 2010. Democrats tapped Tom Bakk of Cook for the Senate majority leader and Rep.Erin Murphy of St.Paul for majority of the House.

Rep. Kurt Daudt has been chosen as the Republican minority leader. He was first elected to the House in 2010 and seems ready to work with DFL controlled legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton:

“We found common ground in efforts to streamline the permitting process and took bipartisan steps to control skyrocketing health care costs. I am proud of the work we did together and am positive we can do it again.”

The Senate GOP picked Senator David Hann of Eden Prairie to serve as minority leader.

Rep. Mary Franson won by one single vote over Democratic challenger Bob Cuniff. If you don’t believe me see it for yourself:

The outcome triggered an automatic recount that will take place after the state canvassing board meets on Nov. 27. A recount will also occur for Democrat Kevin Dahle. Dahle beat Republican Michael Dudley by a mere 82 votes.


Amendment 1 to define marriage as only between a man and a woman was defeated with the narrow margin of 5 percentage points. This is consistent with the last PPP poll from Nov. 2 that found 52% of Minnesotans opposed compared to 47% who supported it.

Amendment 2, a proposal to require all voters to show state approved identification, was defeated with 53.62% of voters voting against it.

Super PAC Spending

By today’s election finance standards, the amount of super PAC money spent in Minnesota is basically none. National Journal tracks the super PAC ad spending in all battleground states since May 1. Whereas some states such as Ohio have a whopping $72,762,477 by one super PAC alone, Minnesota pales in comparison. Out of thirteen listed super PACs only two spent money in Minnesota. Americans for Prosperity spent $543,661 and Concerned Women for America spend $955,384. Both are Republican super PACs .


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