minnesota

TPP Will Be a Factor in Several 2016 Races

Feingold made trade a pillar of his attacks on Johnson in 2010. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House on Thursday released the much anticipated text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement — a trade deal that will likely play out in a number of top House and Senate contests in 2016, whether or not it's passed by Congress.  

Most of those races are located in the Rust Belt — states where past trade pacts such as the North American Free Trade Agreement from the 1990s are often blamed for the sharp decline in manufacturing jobs that once made the region prosper.  

Ratings Change in Two Minnesota House Districts

Mills narrowly lost to Nolan in 2014. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wealthy GOP businessman Stewart Mills officially announced his challenge to Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan, setting up a rematch of their close race last cycle. In 2014, Nolan won 49 percent to 47 percent in an expensive contest.  

Nolan should benefit from presidential turnout in a district that President Barack Obama carried with 52 percent in 2012 and 53 percent in 2008. But Mills should be taken seriously if he spends more of his personal money, runs a better campaign, and gets more support from national Republicans — or some combination of all three factors.  

More House Retirements Likely to Come

Minnesota's Kline is the sixth House member to announce his retirement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After spending five weeks at home in their districts with their families, how many members got homesick and are set to retire?  

If history is a guide, at least a handful or more House members will announce their departure in the days, weeks and months ahead.  

Less Hair Could Mean More Votes in Minnesota

After losing in 2002, Davis shaved his mustache and won in 2004

It’s no secret that hair was the source of Samson’s strength. But unlike the Old Testament Nazirite, one potential congressional challenger is hoping less could mean more at the ballot box.  

Republican Stewart Mills might have the most talked about hair in politics, second only to Donald Trump. Last cycle, Mills challenged Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan in Minnesota’s 8th District. But the race received national attention after I included a blind quote from a local DFL source who said the Republican had “Brad Pitt kind of appeal” to help describe his potential physical draw to some voters.  

Senate Races, Pro Salaries and Perspective on Spending

Reid, pictured here with fellow Las Vegas native and Washington National Bryce Harper, has railed against the influence of money in politics. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Complaining about campaign spending is a time-honored tradition, along with the Kentucky Derby and Major League Baseball. But a closer look reveals the dollars spent on controlling government pales in comparison to spending in other areas of life. Speaker John A. Boehner tried to make that point recently with Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press ." "We spend more money on antacids than we do on politics,” the Ohio Republican said. "We live in an imperfect democracy. But as bad as it is, let me tell you this. It’s better than any other place in the world."  

Even though Politifact rated Boehner’s statement as false,  because his spending figure apparently accounted for worldwide sales and not just domestic, his overall call for perspective on spending is worth considering.  

Review: 6 Races Both Parties Viewed Completely Differently

Peterson will continue to represent Minnesota's 7th District. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A month ago, I wrote about “6 Races Both Parties View Completely Differently .” These were a half-dozen contests where strategists generally disagreed on the shape and trajectory of the race.  

Instead of averaging out the differing opinions and declaring the races too close to call, it was more likely that one party would be very right and the other very wrong. Now, with results in hand, we can see who had the better analysis. Unfortunately, the parties split the races on Election Night.  

Ratings Changes in Seven House Races, All Toward GOP

Gibson looks an even safer bet in New York. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, we’re changing the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings in seven House races.  

You can read more explanation in the Oct. 24 update for Rothenberg Political Report subscribers ($) .  

6 Races Both Parties View Completely Differently

Peterson was targeted from the beginning. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While Democratic and Republican operatives have their own analysis on each race, they often agree on how close a race is and which candidate has the edge.  

Sometimes, however, they have wildly different views on where races stand.  

Collin Peterson Campaign Responds to GOP Poll

Peterson's race is rated Leans Democratic. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In response to a poll released last week by Republicans showing a tight race, Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson's campaign on Monday released a poll of its own from early September that had found the incumbent with a wider lead.  

The three-week-old survey, shared first with CQ Roll Call, showed the Democratic incumbent up 53 percent to 29 percent over state Sen. Torrey Westrom. Westrom's poll, conducted Sept. 21-23 by the Tarrance Group, found Peterson with a 5-point lead.  

Fight for Senate Control Down to Five States

With six weeks to go, the fight for control of the Senate is down to five states, four of them currently held by Democrats.  

Republicans must win only two of those contests to guarantee the 51 seats they need to control the Senate for the last two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. And they need to win only one of the Democratic states if they hold the only GOP seat at serious risk.