Minnesota's 8th Congressional District elections, 2012

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 15:28, 6 December 2012 by Maresa Strano (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search


Minnesota's 8th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
August 14, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Rick Nolan Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Chip Cravaack Republican Party
Chip Cravaack.jpg

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

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Minnesota.png
The 8th congressional district of Minnesota held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Incumbent Chip Cravaack (R) was defeated by Rick Nolan (D) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[1]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
June 5, 2012
August 14, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Minnesota has an open primary system, meaning any registered voter can vote in any party's primary.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by July 24. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 16. Voters could also register at the polls on Election Day, provided they brought requisite proof of residency.[2]

See also: Minnesota elections, 2012

Incumbent: Incumbent Chip Cravaack (R), who was first elected to represent Minnesota's 8th congressional district in 2010, is expected to seek re-election.

This was the first election which used new district maps based on 2010 Census data. The 8th district covers the northeastern part of Minnesota. It includes Koochiching, Itasca, Hubbard, St. Louis, Cook, Lake, Carlton, Pine, Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Kanabec, Benton, Pine, and Chisago counties. [3]

This is the 8th congressional district prior to the 2010 redistricting.


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Rick NolanGreen check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Chip Cravaack

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Election results

U.S. House, Minnesota District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRick Nolan 54.3% 191,976
     Republican Chip Cravaack Incumbent 45.4% 160,520
     NA Write-in 0.3% 1,167
Total Votes 353,663
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election" (dead link)

Race background


Using the Federal Election Commission's October Quarterly campaign finance filings, the Brennan Center for Justice at The New York University School of Law published a report on October 22nd focusing on the 25 House races rated most competitive by The Cook Political Report, including the race for Minnesota's 8th. The report examines the relative spending presence of non-candidate groups, candidates, and small donors in these races - "which will likely determine which party will control the House." [6]

Minnesota's 8th was considered to be a Tossup according to the New York Times race ratings. Republican incumbent Chip Cravaack will compete in a district that Democrats are targeting as a top priority.[8]

Minnesota's 8th District was included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue List," which identified districts that the organization specifically targeted to flip from Republican to Democratic control.[9]

Incumbent Chip Cravaack was a part of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program, a program to help House Republicans stay on offense and increase their majority in 2012.[10]

Impact of Redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Minnesota

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Minnesota's 8th District became more Democratic because of redistricting.[11]

  • 2012: 51D / 49R
  • 2010: 50D / 50R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Minnesota's 8th congressional district has a PVI of D+3, which is the 170th most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 54-46 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 53-47 percent over George W. Bush (R).[12]


PAC targeting

Incumbent Chip Cravaack was targeted by the Super PAC House Majority PAC. The Democratic-allied PAC spent about $90,000 on defeating Cornilles.[13]


The following campaign ad was released by Chip Cravaack on October 10, 2012.[14]

Chip Cravaack, "Good Man"[15]

Super PAC House Majority PAC's TV ad against Chip Cravaack criticizes his vote for an austere federal budget.[16]

Chip Cravaack, "House Majority PAC ad against Chip Cravaack: 'Class'"[17]

Campaign donors

Cravaack outraised Nolan by more than $1 million, receiving $251,000 from business PACs to Nolan's $8,000 in contributions. Nolan did get a large boost when he was endorsed by the United Steelworkers union.[18]

Outside spending played a large role in this race, with $1.6 million going to oppose Cravaack and $1.3 million being spent to attack Nolan. The National Republican Congressional Committee spent over $700,000 on the race, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party spent a total of $577,000 on the race.[18]

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are Cravaack and Nolan's reports.

Chip Cravaack

Chip Cravaack (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[19]March 31, 2012$514,879.85$245,893.4$(131,913.7)$628,859.55
July Quarterly[20]June 30, 2012$628,859.55$393,753.07$(123,931.39)$898,681.23
October Quarterly[21]October 15, 2012$912,681.92$412,694.73$(193,388.48)$1,131,988.17
Pre-General[22]October 25, 2012$1,131,488.17$227,063.39$(454,154.75)$904,396.81
Running totals

Rick Nolan

Rick Nolan (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[23]March 31, 2012$45,905.37$76,753.19$(72,286.69)$50,371.87
July Quarterly[24]June 30, 2012$50,371.87$127,721.51$(84,658.03)$93,435.35
October Quarterly[25]October 15, 2012$87,898.15$457,045.61$(80,619.59)$464,324.17
Pre-General[26]October 25, 2012$464,324.17$198,531.62$(185,599.75)$477,256.04
Running totals

Nolan reported raising over $484,000 in the third quarter, leaving himself with $464,000 cash on hand.[27]

District History


On November 2, 2010, Cravaack won election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated James L. Oberstar (D), Timothy Olson (I), and Richard "George" Burton (C) in the general election.[28]

U.S. House of Representatives, Minnesota's 8th Congressional District, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngChip Cravaack 48.2% 133,490
     Democratic James L. Oberstar Incumbent 46.6% 129,091
     Independent Timothy Olson 4.3% 11,876
     Constitution Richard "George" Burton 0.9% 2,492
     Independent Write-In 0% 132
Total Votes 277,081

See also

External links


  1. ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," November 7, 2012
  2. Minnesota Secretary of State "Registering to Vote," Accessed July 25, 2012
  3. Minnesota Redistricting Map "Map" Accessed August 30, 2012
  4. "City Councillor Jeff Anderson Announces Congressional Campaign" May 25, 2011
  5. "Former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan enters 8th District race" July 13, 2011
  6. Brennan Center for Justice, "Election Spending 2012: 25 Toss-Up House Races," October 22, 2012
  7. The Cook Political Report, "House: Race Ratings", updated October 18, 2012
  8. New York Times "House Race Ratings," Accessed August 10, 2012
  9. DCCC, "Red to Blue 2012"
  10. NRCC "Patriot Program 2012"
  11. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Minnesota," September 2012
  12. Cook Political Report "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" Accessed October 2012
  13. Open Secrets "House Majority PAC Independent Expenditures," Accessed May 4, 2012
  14. Chip Cravaack "News," Accessed: October 10, 2012
  15. YouTube channel
  16. House Majority PAC 'House Majority PAC launches third wave of ads against Chip Cravaack," Accessed May 4, 2012
  17. [YouTube channel]
  18. 18.0 18.1 OpenSecrets, "Hot Race in the Minnesota 8th: Chip Cravaack vs. Rick Nolan," October 4, 2012
  19. Federal Election Commission "April Quarterly," Accessed August 1, 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission "July Quarterly," Accessed August 1, 2012
  21. Federal Election Commission "October Quarterly," Accessed November 1, 2012
  22. Federal Election Commission "Pre-General," Accessed November 6, 2012
  23. Federal Election Commission "April Quarterly," Accessed August 1, 2012
  24. Federal Election Commission "July Quarterly," Accessed August 1, 2012
  25. Federal Election Commission "October Quarterly," Accessed November 1, 2012
  26. Federal Election Commission "Pre-General," Accessed November 6, 2012
  27. Rick Nolan's campaign website
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010" Accessed December 11, 2011