Minnesota Redistricting: How will this affect Michele Bachmann, others?

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Moments ago, a judicial panel released the new redistricting plan for Minnesota. This is a process that is traditionally started by the legislature, then when they finish disagreeing on it for a while, it is handed over to some judges, who make the final decition.

Michele Bachmann’s place of residence has been placed in the same district as Betty McCollum. McCollum, a Democrat, is very popular in her district, and Bachmann, a Republican, is also popular in hers. Very likely, McCollum would beat Bachmann, and Bachmann sees the writing on the wall. Therefore, she is going to run in a different district than the one she lives in, but essentially in the same district she’s already representing, plus or minus bits and pieces around the edges.

The districts are not all that different than they were before at the large scale. The fourth district, McCollum’s has grown a bit and eaten part of the 6th district, Bachmanns. Meanwhile, the 6th district has been extended to the west a bit, into a region that I think is simply more Bachmann-country. In addition, the sixth has been extended to the south, into an area that may be mixed with respect to Bachmann’s support base. On balance, I think (subject to correction) that Bachmann has lost some of the pesky liberals from the area in which she actually lives, and gained some likely supporters in other areas. In other words, if she was going to be hard to unseat, she is now harder to unseat.

Meanwhile, my district, where I’m supporting DFL candidate Sharon Sund, has changed a bit as well, including a larger area to the south. It is unclear to me what this will mean in terms of relative support for the Republican incumbant vs. the DFL challenger. At first glance, I don’t see a lot of change.

Here is the judicial branch web site on redistricting.

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9 thoughts on “Minnesota Redistricting: How will this affect Michele Bachmann, others?

  1. Typo: “the sith has been extended.” Unless you intended to say that Minnesota has decided to elect Palpatine to the senate. 🙂

  2. Try as I might, I don’t really understand how any sane human being could vote for Bachmann, knowing anything about her. Does Minnesota have a lot of crazy people or something?

  3. Question: how are the residency requirements? How easy would it be for Bachmann to run in a different district? Or can you run in a district even if you don’t live there?

  4. There is no district residency requirement in the US Constitution. There may or may not be in various states (I don’t know) but in Minnesota, for Congress, there isn’t one. She can legally run in any district.

    It may be annoying for voters in a given district to have someone running who does not live in their district, but when the redistricting thing happens, I would imagine that easy-going Minnesotans would oblige a candidate they would otherwise support who happened to get redistricted out of their home location. I will be watching to see if it becomes a factor. This may in part depend on who is running against her.

    And, I’m sorry to report, I’m not actually sure what the situation of the opposition candidate is at this moment.

  5. I’m not an expert on such matters, but I don’t think that the population of the area that’s switched from Bachmann’s district to McCollum’s is best summarized as “pesky liberals.”

    The two main population centers in that area are Woodbury and Stillwater. Woodbury is a rich suburb full of soulless McMansion housing developments and “nice” strip malls, and such suburbs (which ring Minneapolis and St. Paul) are the reddest parts of the state. Stillwater is centered on an old historic district (founded 1854, tied with St. Paul as the oldest cities in Minnesota) but is generally an exurb and as such fairly red itself. Bachmann herself lives in the exurb portion.

    I have relatives in both Woodbury and Stillwater, and though most of those relatives are staunchly liberal, their neighbors aren’t. I grew up in a similar suburb, and there were very few of us “pesky liberals” around.

    Now, St. Paul is still has a lot more people than the Woodbury/Stillwater/etc. area that McCollum’s district has picked up, so I don’t think there’s too much danger that McCollum will fall. Nonetheless, it’s a purpler district than it was last week. In a cycle (’14?) with low Democratic turnout, she could be in danger.

    As for whether Bachmann’s district is more or less red now, it’s hard to say. Are my relatives and their fellow “pesky liberals” in Woodbury and Stillwater more numerous than their counterparts in the portion of Carver County (southwestern Minneapolis exurbs) that Bachmann is picking up? Maybe. Anyway, it’s still a conservative district.

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