Battleground Friday: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District

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Minnesota's 8th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
August 12, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Rick Nolan Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Rick Nolan Democratic Party
Rick Nolan.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Toss Up[1]

FairVote's Monopoly Politics: Toss Up[2]
Sabato's Crystal Ball: Toss Up[3]

Minnesota U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8

2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Minnesota.png

By Kristen Smith and the Congress team


In the next profile of our 2014 battleground districts, the Congress team is taking an in-depth look at Minnesota's 8th Congressional District's 2014 election.

Current incumbent: Democratic incumbent Rick Nolan was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2012. He had previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1969 to 1973 and in the U.S. House from 1975 to 1981. Between 1981 and his election in 2012, Nolan worked as the president of the U.S. Export Corporation and the president of the Minnesota World Trade Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.[4]

2012 MOV: Nolan defeated incumbent Chip Cravaack (R) in 2012 by an 8.9 percent margin of victory.

2014 candidates: Incumbent Rick Nolan is running for re-election in 2014 for the Democratic party. Republican candidate Stewart Mills and Libertarian candidate Ray "Skip" Sandman will challenge Nolan in the general election on November 4, 2014. All three candidates ran unopposed in their respective primary elections on August 12, 2014.[5]

Mills has been receiving attention from the media for his unique image. Mills' long hair, which some view as attractive and others say makes him appear unprofessional, won him acclaim as the "Brad Pitt of the Republican Party."[6]

What made it a Ballotpedia battleground district?: Cook's Partisan Voting Index (PVI) rates Minnesota's 8th as a D+1, or a barely Democratic district.[7] FairVote rates the district as a toss up.[8] Although Democratic incumbent Rick Nolan won in 2012 with an 8.9 percent margin of victory, and the district voted for Democratic President Barack Obama in 2012 with a 5.5 percent margin of victory, Nolan was first elected in 2012, and representatives serving their first term are often more vulnerable than those who have been in office for many years. Moreover, Minnesota's 8th district was re-drawn in 2011, which could have altered the ratio of Democrats to Republicans in the district.

FEC: As of the April Quarterly FEC reports, Nolan held a slight advantage over Mills in terms of campaign finances, but both had been fundraising and spending substantial amounts of money on the race. At that time, Nolan had $478,215.97 in cash on hand compared to Mills' $355,738.89.

The information above was compiled following the Minnesota candidate filing deadline. Please find all further updates on the 8th District's election page.
Minnesota's 8th Congressional District
MN 8th District Map.PNG

Population: 661,995
Gender: 50.7% Male, 49.3% Female
Race: 93.7% White, 1.1% Black, 2.6% Native American
Ethnicity: 1.33% Hispanic
Unemployment: 9.3%
Median household income: $46,692
High school graduation rate: 91.7%
College graduation rate: 20.9%

See also