Minnesota has a lot of action and potential relative to other states. Minnesota has three blue districts Donald Trump won in 2016. This means the right candidate can come along and upset the “blue wave” or at least mitigate potential losses. Minnesota is hopeful because in almost every race, there’s at least one candidate that doesn’t suck. It would be nice to see a little more enthusiasm in the Senate races(courtesy of Al Franken.) The GOP can look to make progress in what has been a staunchly blue state for decades. Minnesota has become redder with each of the last three presidential elections, so the Democrats reign is in trouble.
Best Picks: Jim Newberger, Tom Emmer, Jen Zielinski
Worst Picks: Carla Nelson
Best Race: District 7
Worst Race: Senate Special Election
US Senate Special Election
Karin Housely is the GOP favorite in this race. However she comes off as a RINO who would expand the debt. Her stint in the State Senate shows she really isn’t all that Conservative despite having a more Conservative 2017 session, which every other Republican did as well, so it seems. She doesn’t impress up front. Her main opponent is Bob Anderson. Anderson fancies himself as an outsider. He comes off as a populist rather than a Conservative, but that is preferable to the shining RINO that Housely would likely be. Anderson is anti-establishment so he is more likely to shake things up.
Conservative Pick: Bob Anderson
The most serious candidate here seems to be Jim Newberger. As a rep in the Minnesota House, Newberger has an outstanding record. For that reason, it’s a good thing for Conservatism that he may walk into a easy victory here in an underwhelming race. Merrill Anderson is a populist and perhaps a conspiracy nut. He doesn’t reasonably stand a chance. Roque De La Fuente is literally running for Senator in every state that has loose enough residency requirements. He isn’t Conservative. He is not the pick here, but he understands taking chances.
Conservative Pick: Jim Newberger
Jim Hagedorn looks to reclaim he seat he barely lost in 2016. This is district went red for Trump, yet he lost by less than 1%. His main opponent is Carla Nelson, a state rep. She is ACU’s lowest ranking Republican in 2016 and was tied for a repeat in 2017. She is no Conservative.
Conservative Pick: Jim Hagedorn
Jason Lewis is the highest rated Congressman in the state. He’s not a perfect Conservative, but deserves another term. He is unopposed.
Erik Paulsen is an unchallenged RINO.
Greg Ryan is an unchallenged RINO.
Jen Zielinski seems to be the GOP favorite in this race. She seems to have the potential to shrink the government. She also wants to make the Republican Party the “Party of Choice.” This is good branding for incorporating issues such as school choice. The other candidates don’t appear to be as serious.
Conservative Pick: Jen Zielinski
Tom Emmer hasn’t done a terrible job in Congress. His Liberty score of 69 shows a more fiscally responsible Republican than a typical RINO. He faces the same two challenges as he did last time around. Neither of these candidates are particularly inspiring enough to warrant a course change.
Conservative Pick: Tom Emmer
David Hughes looks for a rematch after losing by 5% in 2016. Hughes is a solid Conservative by looks. His platform is right of Trump on immigration and healthcare. His opponent Matt Protch is campaigning as an outsider. Rather than a populist, he actually seems Conservative. This race is winnable for the GOP so Hughes is perhaps the best bet here. But he lost a race where Trump won. This indicates weak campaigning. So perhaps its time to invest in someone new? However Collin Peterson has been in since 1990, too long. He’s also way more vulnerable in an increasingly red district. Perhaps Hughes can win with a second chance, now that he potentially has more name recognition. Or perhaps Protch is the choice.
Conservative Pick: David Hughes?
The most serious candidate here is Pete Strauber who seems like a regular Republican, and that comes with a bad connotation. This is another flippable seat in Minnesota.