Sabatos Crystal Ball

Minnesota Races

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Minnesota

Outlook: Leans Republican


November 8, 2006 Update:

Gov.Tim Pawlenty (R) won reelection over Mike Hatch (D) with 47% of the vote.

June 1, 2006 Update:

Governor Tim Pawlenty is one of several Midwestern governors who is having a bumpy road to reelection. This may be a Democratic year nationally and in Minnesota, and so Pawlenty’s reelection is certainly not a sure thing. We are too far away from November to know how much trouble he may be in, but it is already clear that he will have to run a very good race to win a second term.

Update:

The Crystal Ball is watching the Minnesota governor’s race carefully. In another, more Republican year Governor Tim Pawlenty would be in good shape, and we continue to list him as a slight favorite. But, our sources in Minnesota stress to us that people appear to be in a mood to vote Democratic in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. As a result, Attorney General Mike Hatch will be a formidable opponent for Pawlenty.


Background

Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty has had a reasonably successful first term, in part because he is business-like and he succeeded the irascible, chaotic, controversial independent, Jesse Ventura. The contrast has helped him to a solid position as frontrunner for a second term in ’06. There aren’t many major Democrats running against him right now, but two who have thrown their hats into the ring are Attorney General Mike Hatch and three-term state senator Steve Kelley.

Candidates

Tim Pawlenty (I) – Republican – current Governor and former state house majority leader
Website

Mike Hatch – Democrat – current state Attorney General and former state commerce commissioner
Website

Peter Hutchinson – Independent – former state commissioner of finance and superintendent of Minneapolis public schools
Website