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Minnesota SD-20 Special Election Results

by: Daniel Surman

Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 21:50:33 PM EDT

There is a special election tonight for the empty seat of Senator Gary Kubly (DFL), who recently passed away. The race is between state Rep. Lyle Koenen, 2010 Republican nominee Gregg Kulberg and IP candidate Leon Greenslit.

A bit of background from OGGoldy:

Lots of Peterson/Walz types here. And the DFL has a far superior candidate in 10-year state representative (who represents 50% of SD-20, as HDs are nested 2-in-1 per SD), and the Republicans have the 2010 candidate who lost to Kubly by 14. Republican's aren't contesting this seat really, as the seat is being divvied up among other senate districts following redistricting, and Koenen (if victorious) will be running against Senator Gimse, which will likely be one the the marquee senate races in 2012.

Koenen is a good fit for the district, being one of the DFLers who voted for the marriage amendment. Republicans are not going all-out for the seat, although they did do some turnout for the race. This election will not change control of the Senate, with 37 Republicans and 29 Democrats. Essentially if Kulberg wins, it ensures Koenen does not have the benefit of incumbency headed into the fall against Gimse.


Secretary of State

Precinct Results

10:42 PM: Darn, no special election for Koenen's seat because the Minnesota legislature will be adjourning before the election could be held.

10:27 PM: Less than an hour and a half after the polls closed, we have  100% reporting. Koenen wins with 54% over Republican Gregg Kulberg and IPer Leon Greenslit 54%-40%-5%. In 2010 Kulberg lost to Kubly under these lines by 14 points; he lost this race 13 points, even though Koenen only represented half of the district in the House.

10:17 PM: We can go ahead and call this for Koenen. He leads Kulberg 55%-40% with Greenslit at 5%. 94% of precincts are reporting, with only 11 left.

9:58 PM: Koenen's margin has decreased. He leads with 54% over Kulberg with 40% and Greenslit with 5%. 79% of precincts are reporting, 154 of 195. There is less than an 800 vote margin between Kulberg and Koenen.

9:43 PM: Thus far it is looking like a strong showing for Koenen. He leads Kulberg 61%-36%, with Greenslit trailing with 3% of the vote.

Daniel Surman :: Minnesota SD-20 Special Election Results
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This is why I love this site
despite my difference in party affiliation with most of you guys. I can't think of anywhere else that would liveblog a state Senate race in Minnesota!

23, Democrat, CO-4 (home), MI-12 (law school) 

Complete agreement here.

22, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
It looks like the IP is fulfilling their traditional spoiler role. Koenen might have won without Greenslit being in, but it still hurts Republican margins.

22, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

The IP has usually been the bane of the DFL's existence. Republicans would never win anything statewide without the IP, as Republicans really do have a hard ceiling of about 48%

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
It goes back and forth
The IP did help Dayton in 10 and Bachmann in 08. (I am personally a supporter of range voting or RCV)

libertarian Republican, TX-14/MN-04

[ Parent ]
They're really a spoiler for both sides.
However, I'm assuming that many of the disgruntled blue-collar workers that often swing for Republicans in the Midwest sometimes vote IP in MN. Maybe I'm wrong.

22, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
This paper on Ventura's victory is interesting

Obviously Ventura support does not equal IP support, but these are the type of folks they would need to win.

libertarian Republican, TX-14/MN-04

[ Parent ]
Is there a link where
I get precicnt or county numbers?  SOS site?

Throwing it up

libertarian Republican, TX-14/MN-04

[ Parent ]
Goshdarnit Minnesota!
Kubly. Koenen. Kulberg. How are we supposed to keep all these Northern European names stragiht?

Move to Scandinavia

libertarian Republican, TX-14/MN-04

[ Parent ]
I am not sure if it is this year, or in the last session, but I counted 22 son or sen names in the legislature.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
And the Andersons
There are too many.

libertarian Republican, TX-14/MN-04

[ Parent ]
Koenen is Finnish
Here is a general guide.

sen and sen are Swedish

berg and stad and -dahl are Norwegian

ala and nen are Finnish

aas and quist are Dutch

Hope that helps. :)

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
Thanks for the cheat sheet.
I know that this might really help when looking at the historical politics of WI.

22, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
excuse the strikethroughs
But I am sure you can figure it out that they are supposed to be dashes. :)

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
That's awesome!
I feel bad that all I have to offer is that Mc is Irish and Mac is Scottish.

[ Parent ]
I thought -quist was Swedish too
I've known several people with -quist suffixes, and they were all Swedish.  

43, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
Dutch is everything with "de xxx" or "van xxx".
Also, most names with -er endings that aren't obviously German.

[ Parent ]
Oh, also, -stra, and -ink/ing are Dutch. Although just by
country, in terms of ethnics they're Frisian and Low Saxon, respectively.

[ Parent ]
100% counted
Koenen wins 54-40

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

Background for those who didn't know
Obama took 51% here in 08

And Dayton edged Emmer here by one, 43-42

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

The Bad news for Ds
is that apparently they lost Renville county. Or did I miscount? The new 17th includes Renville which was evenly divided tonight plus the two small counties of Chippewa and Swift that went D today.

60% of the new seat in the R leaning county, home county of GOP state senator, of Kandiyohi.

The fairly narrow win in the 40% of the area in the new seat is not a good sign.  

Renville was lost by Koenen today narrowly
But swift and chippewa counties are pretty loyal to to DFLers locally. I know you are looking for a silver lining for Republicans, as is your MO. And beating Gimse in a Wilmar-based district is not going to be easy for Koenen, but Gimse lost nearly all of his district, and is drawn in with the part of this district you mentioned. Really, the majority if the new 17th is in this district, but the largest city and cultural center of the district is in Gimse's current seat. This is going to be a toss-up race no matter how you slice it.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
New SD20 or SD17 is as follows
Total Pop 79100

Swift county 9783  nicely D but not overwhelming D
Chippewa county 12441 (Koenen's home see Swift above)
Renville county appox 14650(county is split between two seats) is in SD17. It was a tossup county

Kandiyohi county went for Gimse in 2010 and its his home county. Koenen has never run in that county before. Swift & Chippewa went for Obama in 2008 while the other two counties went for McCain.  By numbers it looks like a narrow McCain seat.  McCain lost MN by 8% so this seat is 8% more R then the state as a whole. So the new seat has more Gimse area and is a McCain seat.  That bodes well for the GOP. No guaranteen mind you but if I had to pick a scenerio for the GOP this would be it.  

[ Parent ]
you know that Obama won the current SD-20
By 3 Yet Koenen carried it by 14. Outstate Minnesota is one if those areas where Obama-McCain numbers don't really reflect politics locally, much like Southern West Virginia, or suburban Philly.

The majority of the new 17th comes from the current 20th. The only thing Gimse has going for him in the district is the fact that Wilmar (his home town) and the county were included in it. The rest of the district is new to him. Don't get me wrong, Gimse is a strong incumbent (unlike a lot of the freshmen that are in over their heads). So yes, it is a McCain district, but as you saw last night, local DFLers (emphasis on the F) do much better here. In this case 11 points better. So having a 50-49 McCain district really doesn't change much compared to a 51-48 Obama district. And FWIW, I believe that Gimse's current seat was won by McCain by more than the new 17th. So it got bluer, in addition to being mostly new to him.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
On a related note
the Minnesota GOP may get evicted.

That party is in an absolute mess. Too bad intrade does not have odds on the Minnesota legislature. But based on everything I am seeing, I put the odds of Republicans holding either chamber at somewhere south of 10% at this point. For those who aren't plugged into the state, the MN-GOP is really on life support internally. And that is a terrible, terrible way to be 7 months out from an election where your party's presidential candidate won't even have a campaign presence.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

We do have a House campaign arm that is staffing up
And they have a nice chunk of money to finance their efforts. It doesn't help to have such a weak state party, but it has not completely undermined our efforts either.

I have heard rumors that our hq may be moving to a cheaper location in the future.

libertarian Republican, TX-14/MN-04

[ Parent ]
Special House election
It would be starange to hold an election for a seat that doesn't really exist following redistricting. So if there were a special election, it bE the real possibility of electing someone that could never serve, as they Rent going to hold a swearing in ceremony while the legislature is adjourned.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.


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