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Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2014

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Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
August 12, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
John Kline Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
John Kline Republican Party
John Kline.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Solid R[1]

FairVote's Monopoly Politics: Likely R[2]
Sabato's Crystal Ball: Likely R[3]

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

2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Minnesota.png
The 2nd Congressional District of Minnesota held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014. Incumbent John Kline (R) defeated challengers Mike Obermueller (D) and Paula Overby (IND) in the general election.[4]

Going into the election, Kline was favored to reclaim his seat. Cook Political Report labeled the district as "Solid R" signifying an advantage for the incumbent in the district. Both candidates maintained large sums of cash on hand. Kline however had over $1.6 million in his campaign coffers while Obermuelled had under $300,000.

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
June 3, 2014
August 12, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: Minnesota is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[5][6][7]

Voter registration: To vote in the primary, voters needed to register on election day, or pre-register by July 22, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 14, 2014 (21 days days prior to the election).[8]

See also: Minnesota elections, 2014

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was John Kline (R), who was first elected in 2002.

Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District covers the south Twin Cities metro area and includes Carver, Scott, Le Sueur, Goodhue and Rice counties.[9]


General election candidates

August 12, 2014, primary results

Republican Party Republican Primary

Independence Party of America Independence Party Primary

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Withdrew from race


General election results

The 2nd Congressional District of Minnesota held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014. Incumbent John Kline (R) defeated challengers Mike Obermueller (D) and Paula Overby (IND) in the general election.

U.S. House, Minnesota District 2 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Kline Incumbent 56% 137,778
     Democratic Mike Obermueller 38.9% 95,565
     Independence Paula Overby 5% 12,319
     N/A Write-in 0.1% 186
Total Votes 245,848
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State

Primary results

U.S. House, Minnesota District 2 Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMike Obermueller 82.5% 12,361
Michael J. Roberts 17.5% 2,622
Total Votes 14,983
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State

Race Background

The 2012 election in Minnesota's 2nd District was a moderately competitive race, with John Kline securing victory by an 8.2 percent margin of victory. The district had formerly been considered a safe district with Fairvote evaluating the Republicans as having a 10 percent lead on Democrats in the district. After redistricting in 2010, that lead dropped to 4 percent.[15] Kline spent nearly $2.50 for every $1.00 spent by his opponent, Mike Obermueller. In total, Kline spent $1,957,356 to Obermueller's $705,166.[16]

Democratic Super PAC House Majority PAC listed incumbent John Kline as one of 10 vulnerable incumbent Republicans in 2014.[17]

Bill Maher's "Flip a District" campaign

On September 12, 2014, comedian Bill Maher announced that Rep. John Kline would be the new target of his "Flip a District" campaign. Throughout the remainder of the 2014 election season, Maher traveled periodically to Minnesota's 2nd District and perform stand-up comedy routines denouncing the current incumbent, in the hopes of tipping the scales in favor of Democratic challenger Mike Obermueller in the November general election.[18] Viewers of Maher's HBO program, “Real Time with Bill Maher,” voted between Kline and three other Republican incumbents: Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Mike Coffman (Colorado) (R-CO). Maher indicated that student debt was the top reason cited in votes to nominate Kline as the target. He added that Kline, "has done more to keep twentysomethings in their parents’ basements than anyone else alive."[19]

Despite Maher's involvement in the race, the executive producer of his show explained that they would not be directly supporting Kline's Democratic opponent, Mike Obermueller. He stated, "We don’t care who people vote for. We care that you not return Kline to Congress."[20]

Key votes

Government affairs

HR 676

See also: Boehner's lawsuit against the Obama administration

Yea3.png On July 30, 2014, the U.S. House approved a resolution 225 to 201 to sue President Barack Obama for exceeding his constitutional authority. Five RepublicansThomas Massie of Kentucky, Paul Broun of Georgia, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Walter Jones of North Carolina and Steve Stockman of Texas—voted with Democrats against the lawsuit.[21] Kline joined the other 224 Republicans in favor of the lawsuit. All Democrats voted against the resolution.[22][23]


General election polls

General election candidates
Poll John Kline (R) Mike Obermueller (D)Paula Overby (Independence)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Remington Research Group
September 18-21, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


Mike Obermueller

  • In May 2014, Democratic candidate Mike Obermueller released a campaign ad entitled, "Dance Party," in which he attacked Republican incumbent John Kline for his position on the Affordable Care Act, known as "Obamacare." According to Obermueller, "To insurance executives, John Kline is music to their ears because if Congress repeals Obamacare, insurance companies will go back to charging whatever they want."[24] This ad was included on a Politico list of "The season's most bizarre political ads."[25]

2014 Obermueller campaign ad

Campaign contributions

John Kline

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Kline's reports.[26]

Mike Obermueller

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Obermueller's reports.[32]

Mike Obermueller (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[33]April 15, 2013$12,007.43$660.00$(7,152.73)$5,514.70
July Quarterly[34]July 15, 2013$5,514.70$130,088.84$(42,442.16)$93,161.38
October Quarterly[35]October 15, 2013$93,161.38$73,632.99$(47,340.82)$119,453.55
Year-End[36]January 31, 2014$119,453.55$132,486.34$(48,429.30)$203,510.59
April Quarterly[37]April 15, 2014$203,510.59$81,645.33$(46,944.90)$238,211.02
July QuarterlyJuly 15, 2014$238,211.00$151,546.00$(102,462.00)$288,887.00
Running totals

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 6, 2012, John Kline won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives 2nd Congressional District of Minnesota. He defeated Mike Obermueller (D) in the general election.[38]

U.S. House, Minnesota District 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Kline Incumbent 54% 193,587
     Democratic Mike Obermueller 45.8% 164,338
     NA Write-in 0.1% 521
Total Votes 358,446
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election" (dead link)


On November 2, 2010, John Kline (R) won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Shelley Madore (D) in the general election.[39]

U.S. House, Minnesota District 2 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Kline incumbent 63.3% 181,341
     Democratic Shelley Madore 36.6% 104,809
     N/A Write-in 0.1% 303
Total Votes 286,453

See also

External links


  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 House Race Ratings for August 8, 2014," accessed August 25, 2014
  2. FairVote's Monopoly Politics, "2014 House Projections," accessed August 25, 2014
  3. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed August 25, 2014
  4. Politico, "House Elections Results," accessed November 11, 2014
  5. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  6. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  7. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  8. Minnesota Secretary of State Website, "How to Register," accessed January 3, 2014
  9. Minnesota Redistricting Map, "Map," accessed August 30, 2012
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Minnesota Secretary of State, "2014 State General Election Candidate Filings," accessed June 11, 2014
  11. Huffington Post, "Paula Overby, Minnesota Transgender Woman, Will Run For Congress," accessed August 15, 2013
  12. Mike Obermueller, "Campaign website," accessed July 17, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 Post Bulletin, "Kline boasts $1.1 million campaign war chest," accessed July 17, 2013
  14. Burnsville Patch, "CaringBridge Founder Will Challenge Kline in 2014 Congressional Race," accessed April 15, 2013 (dead link)
  15. , "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Minnesota," March 2013
  16. Open Secrets, "2012 Race: Minnesota District 02" accessed March 2013
  17. Sunshine State News, "Democratic Super-PAC Targets Steve Southerland," accessed March 8, 2013
  18. Roll Call, "Bill Maher Names Flip a District Pick," accessed September 16, 2014
  19. CBS Minnesota, "Bill Maher’s ‘Flip A District’ Targets Rep. John Kline," accessed September 16, 2014
  20. Star Tribune, "Bill Maher's 'Flip a District' challenge targets Rep. Kline," accessed September 30, 2014
  21. U.S. House, "House Resolution 676," accessed July 30, 2014
  22. Yahoo News, "Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead," accessed July 30, 2014
  23. Washington Post, "House clears way for lawsuit against Obama," accessed July 30, 2014
  24. YouTube, "Mike Obermueller for Congress - Dance Party," accessed August 28, 2014
  25. Politico, "The season's most bizarre political ads," accessed August 28, 2014
  26. Federal Election Commission, "Kline 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 18, 2013
  27. FEC, "April Quarterly, Kline," accessed July 18, 2013
  28. FEC, "July Quarterly, Kline," accessed July 18, 2013
  29. FEC, "October Quarterly, Kline," accessed October 15, 2013
  30. FEC, "Year-End Quarterly, Kline," accessed February 11, 2014
  31. FEC, "April Quarterly, Kline," accessed May 16, 2014
  32. Federal Election Commission, "Mike Obermueller Summary Report," accessed April 23, 2014
  33. Federal Election Commission, "Mike Obermueller April Quarterly," accessed April 23, 2014
  34. Federal Election Commission, "Mike Obermueller July Quarterly," accessed April 23, 2014
  35. Federal Election Commission, "Mike Obermueller October Quarterly," accessed April 23, 2014
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Mike Obermueller Year-End," accessed April 23, 2014
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Mike Obermueller April Quarterly," accessed April 23, 2014
  38. ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," November 7, 2012
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013