Minnesota Political News: Polls now open in Minnesota for today's electionMinnesota News
-- The polls are now open across Minnesota. On ballots today are races for president, U.S. Senate, Congressional races, plus state and local elections. There are also two amendment proposals. One measure would ban same sex marriage while the other calls for requiring voters to present a photo ID before casting a ballot. Polls close at 8 tonight.
The polls are now open across Minnesota. On ballots today are races for president, U-S Senate, Congressional races, plus state and local elections. There are also two amendment proposals. One measure would ban same sex marriage while the other calls for requiring voters to present a photo I-D before casting a ballot. Polls close at 8 tonight.
Will the weather have an effect on voter turnout today across the state? There's been a bit of snow this morning across northeastern Minnesota and rain has been falling in many other areas. Forecasters expect chillier than normal temperatures for voters today with highs in the low- to mid-40's statewide. Politics aside, there have been more lows than highs on this Election Day in Minnesota. From a weather standpoint, 1936 stands out as the coldest day ever for Twin Cities area voters, when the afternoon high hit just 28. Just four years ago, voters enjoyed the warmest day ever as they went to the polls: 71-degrees.
Minnesotans decide many fates on this Election Day. Polls opened at 7 a.m. so voters can help decide who becomes president. There's also the race for U.S. Senate between incumbent Amy Klobuchar and challenger state Rep. Kurt Bills. There are battles in Minnesota's Congressional districts which include Michele Bachmann and Jim Graves in the 6th, and Chip Cravaack and Rick Nolan in the 8th. On top of that, there are two hotly contested amendment proposals. One measure would ban same sex marriage while the other calls for requiring voters to present a photo ID before casting a ballot. Polls close at 8 tonight.
Polls show the supporters and opponents of the marriage amendment are in a dead heat as Minnesotans go to the voting booth today. Analysts say the polls underestimate support for the amendment because some people are reluctant to say that they plan to vote "yes." But St. Benedict-St. John's political science Professor Kay Wolsborn says that may also be true for some who plan to vote "no." Wolsborn adds there's a fair amount of confusion about what a "no" vote means and what a "yes" vote means -- and she says to some extent that will drive the vote against the amendment.
Analysts are keeping a close eye on the race for Congress in Minnesota's 8th District with the polls showing a tight contest between Republican incumbent Chip Cravaack and Democratic challenger Rick Nolan. St. Benedict-St. John's political science Professor Kay Wolsborn says whatever the outcome, it will be an upset of sorts. Wolsborn says it will be an upset if Cravaack continues to win in what has historically been a Democratic area -- but it would also be pretty historic and dramatic if Nolan wins. Two years ago the political world was stunned when Cravaack ousted long-time Democratic Congressman James Oberstar.
It's a closer-than-expected race for Congress in Minnesota's 6th District as Republican incumbent Michele Bachmann faces a difficult challenge from Democrat Jim Graves. St Benedict-St. John's political science Professor Kay Wolsborn notes that Bachmann herself acknowledges it's one of her toughest races ever -- and Wolsborn says Bill Clinton coming in for opponent Graves illustrates Democrats think it's winnable. Wolsborn says it would be a major news story if Michele Bachmann loses, because she's been very consistent as a money-raiser and vote-getter.
State election officials predict Minnesota will again be number-one in voter turnout for the 2012 election. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says the state will probably match or be a near-match to its record of 78-percent eligible voter turnout -- putting the state five or six points ahead of number-two Wisconsin. But Ritchie does not believe the two constitutional amendments will help the state set a new voter turnout record. He says having seven political parties on Minnesota's election ballot encourages more people to vote.