Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Review Articles: Minnesota Congressional Seats

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December 6, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional team


MADISON, Wisconsin: Minnesota had eight U.S. House seats on the ballot in 2012. All eight incumbents ran for re-election on November 6, 2012, and seven were victories.

The exception was district 8 Republican incumbent Chip Cravaack, who lost by 9 percentage points to Democratic challenger Rick Nolan in the general election.

Here are the candidates who won election.

District General Election Candidates Incumbent 2012 Winner Partisan Switch?
1st Democratic Party Tim Walz
Republican Party Allen Quist
Tim Walz Democratic Party Tim Walz No
2nd Democratic Party Mike Obermueller
Republican Party John Kline
John Kline Republican Party John Kline No
3rd Democratic Party Brian Barnes
Republican Party Erik Paulsen
Erik Paulsen Republican Party Erik Paulsen No
4th Democratic Party Betty McCollum
Republican Party Tony Hernandez
Independence Party of America Steve Carlson
Betty McCollum Democratic Party Betty McCollum No
5th Democratic Party Keith Ellison
Republican Party Chris Fields
Keith Ellison Democratic Party Keith Ellison No
6th Democratic Party Jim Graves
Republican Party Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann Republican Party Michele Bachmann No
7th Democratic Party Collin Peterson
Republican Party Lee Byberg
Independence Party of America Adam Steele
Collin Peterson Democratic Party Collin Peterson No
8th Democratic Party Rick Nolan
Republican Party Chip Cravaack
Chip Cravaack Democratic Party Rick Nolan Yes

Members of the U.S. House from Minnesota -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 4 5
     Republican Party 4 3
Total 8 8

Margin of victory for winners

There were a total of 8 seats up for election in 2012 in Minnesota. The following table shows the margin of victory for each district winner, which is calculated by examining the percentage difference between the top-two vote getters. If the race was uncontested, the margin of victory is listed as 100%.
DistrictWinnerMargin of VictoryTotal VoteTop Opponent
U.S. House, Minnesota District 1 General Election Democratic Party Tim Walz15.2%335,880Allen Quist
U.S. House, Minnesota District 2 General Election Republican Party John Kline8.2%358,446Mike Obermueller
U.S. House, Minnesota District 3 General Election Republican Party Erik Paulsen16.3%382,705Brian Barnes
U.S. House, Minnesota District 4 General Election Democratic Party Betty McCollum30.8%347,991Tony Hernandez
U.S. House, Minnesota District 5 General Election Democratic Party Keith Ellison49.3%351,969Chris Fields
U.S. House, Minnesota District 6 General Election Republican Party Michele Bachmann1.2%355,153Jim Graves
U.S. House, Minnesota District 7 General Election Democratic Party Collin Peterson25.5%327,576Lee Byberg
U.S. House, Minnesota District 8 General Election Democratic Party Rick Nolan8.9%353,663Chip Cravaack

National picture

Both chambers of the United States Congress remain split after the November 6, 2012 election. Democrats increased their majority in the U.S. Senate while cutting into the Republicans majority in the U.S. House.

Of the 435 candidates who won election to the U.S. House, 85 of them were challengers, which represents 19.5 percent of U.S. House members. Of those 85, 50 are Democratic and 35 are Republican. A total of 27 incumbents were defeated -- 10 Democratic and 17 Republican.

2012 United States House General Election Results
Party Total Winners Incumbent Winners Defeated Incumbents Incumbent Re-Election Rate** Non-Incumbent Winners
Democratic 201 151 10 93.8% 50
Republican 234 198 17 92.1% 35
TOTALS 435 349 27 92.8% 85
**Note: The incumbent re-election rate is calculated by dividing the total incumbents winners by the total incumbents who appeared on the general election ballot.
U.S. Senate Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 51 53
     Republican Party 47 45
     Independent 2 2
Total 100 100
U.S. House Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 193 201
     Republican Party 242 234
Total 435 435

See also