Sabato's Crystal Ball

Minnesota (01) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans D

Democratic candidate: Tim Walz, Incumbent

Republican candidate: Randy Demmer

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Background:

Tim Walz was sworn in as the Representative for the 1st district of Minnesota after defeating incumbent Republican Gil Gutknecht in the 2006 election with 52.7% of the vote. Walz was a high school teacher and 24-year veteran of the National Guard before running as a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party. Walz was reelected in 2008 over Republican candidate Brian Davis with an impressive 62.5% of the vote. Obama defeated McCain with 54% of the vote in 2008.

Walz has focused his third campaign on the economy and energy. Walz hopes to create green collar jobs to benefit the middle class and strengthen the economy. The campaign also stresses the importance of renewable energy and Walz hopes to reduce American dependence upon foreign oil.

The winner of Minnesota’s Republican primary on August 10 will have a huge fundraising deficit to overcome before the November election. Republican challengers Randy Demmer, James Hagedorn, and Allen Quist have all taken in less than $40,000 in receipts while Walz had taken in over $700,000 by the end of 2009. Both Demmer and Quist are veterans of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Demmer was first elected in 2002 and continues to serve today. Quist served in the House from 1982 to 1989 before making two failed bids to become Minnesota’s governor in 1994 and 1998.

Walz’s popularity and vast margin of victory in 2008 makes Minnesota’s 1st district Likely Democratic.