‘The McCain 14’: House DFLers in Republican-Leaning Districts

On Wednesday, Smart Politics highlighted GOP legislators who serve house districts won by Barack Obama – legislators who are more vulnerable to district political pressures that might lead them to consider defecting from their Republican caucus in the event of a DFL override attempt against Governor Tim Pawlenty in the 2009 session.

Today, Smart Politics examines those DFL legislators who have to toe equally thin political lines – those who serve in districts that were carried by both John McCain and Norm Coleman.

It is true that for the GOP to peel off even one or two DFLers in such an override scenario would be quite a feat: back in February of this year, the DFL was able to hold all 85 members of its caucus as the House overrode Governor Tim Pawlenty’s transportation bill veto, 91-41 (gaining six Republicans along the way).

While 11 of the 47 Republican seats (23 percent) represent districts carried by Barack Obama, 14 of the 87 DFL districts (16 percent) voted for both John McCain and Norm Coleman (no DFL house district carried by McCain was also won by Al Franken). The ‘McCain 14’ are: Dave Olin (01A), Brita Sailer (02B), Tim Faust (08B), Mary Ellen Otremba (11B), John Ward (12A), Al Doty (12B), Al Juhnke (13B), Larry Hosch (14B), Gail Kulick Jackson (16A), Jeremy Kalin (17B), Kory Kath (26A), Andy Welti (30B), Denise R. Dittrich (47A), and Paul Gardner (53A).

· These 14 DFL legislators have served an average of 2.9 terms – similar to the 2.6 terms of experience held by the 11 GOP representatives serving in Obama districts.

· Only two legislators, Jackson (16A) and Kath (26A), are newcomers.

· John McCain carried these 14 districts by an average of 7.3 points, including double-digit victories in districts represented by Otremba (11B, 11.9 points), Doty (12B, 16.4 points), Hosch (14B, 10.5 points), and Jackson (16A, 13.8 points).

· Norm Coleman, meanwhile, carried these districts by an even greater margin: an average of 11.7 points, including double-digit margins in all but three districts (Sailor’s 02B, Faust’s 08B, and Ward’s 12A).

· Not surprisingly, considering the partisan leanings of their districts, the majority of these DFL legislators faced stiff challenges in their 2008 electoral bids: 9 of the 14 won by less than 10 points and 6 of these narrowly won by 5 points or less. Only Ward (12A, 30.0 points), Hosch (14B, 34.3 points), Kath (26A, 13.9 points), Welti (30B, 11.2 points), and Dittrich (47A, 18.9 points) won comfortably.

Granted, the likelihood of any possible DFL defection is contingent on the details of the particular legislation at hand; this entry serves to highlight those DFLers who would potentially face greater political heat from the Republican-leaning districts in which they serve, should they decide to vote with their caucus.

Minnesota DFL Representatives in McCain Districts

District
Legislator
Term
HD MoV
McCain MoV
Coleman MoV
01A
Dave Olin
2nd
5.0
4.0
15.1
02B
Brita Sailer
3rd
8.3
1.5
4.1
08B
Tim Faust
2nd
1.5
7.3
6.3
11B
Mary Ellen Otremba
7th
4.9
11.9
14.2
12A
John Ward
2nd
30.0
4.0
5.4
12B
Al Doty
2nd
0.4
16.4
13.2
13B
Al Juhnke
7th
7.6
5.6
10.8
14B
Larry Hosch
3rd
34.3
10.5
16.1
16A
Gail Kulick Jackson
1st
0.4
13.8
12.0
17B
Jeremy Kalin
2nd
6.6
9.7
13.7
26A
Kory Kath
1st
13.9
6.1
11.0
30B
Andy Welti
3rd
11.2
8.8
15.6
47A
Denise R. Dittrich
3rd
18.9
2.1
11.4
53A
Paul Gardner
2nd
4.7
0.9
15.2

2 Comments on "‘The McCain 14’: House DFLers in Republican-Leaning Districts"

  1. H E L P ! ! ! Re “The McCain 14” article:

    On the chart, the Coleman column is covered up by the “Categories” column on the far right of the screen…….so I can’t fully appreciate the point you are trying to make on the chart.

    Kindly fix, please.

  2. Did Matt Dean decide to run for Auditor?

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