2018 Elections |

A New Political Landscape: 2018 Midterm Election Outcomes

Were you one of the nearly 2.6 million Minnesotans who got out and voted in Tuesday’s midterm elections? Thanks to everyone who activated their civil right to vote, this was the highest voter turnout in a midterm election in over fifteen years – since 2002!


The election resulted in some significant changes in Washington D.C. and here in Minnesota; here are some of the most notable outcomes at the federal and state levels:


Congress (Washington, D.C.)

  • Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, flipping more than 23 seats needed to reclaim the majority they lost in 2010. In response to what’s been called the “blue wave”, Republicans put up a “red wall” in the U.S. Senate – retaining control and even expanding their current majority.
  • In Minnesota’s race for U.S. Senate, Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith beat Republican challengers Jim Newberger and Karin Housley (respectively).
  • In the first Congressional District (CD1), Republican Jim Hagedorn has been declared the winner over Democrat Dan Feehan, flipping control of this district. With less than 2000 votes between them, Feehan has not yet conceded and may request a recount.
  • In CD2, Democrat Angie Craig defeated incumbent Republican Jason Lewis, flipping control of this district
  • In CD3, Democrat Dean Phillips defeated Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen, flipping control of this district
  • In CD4, incumbent Democrat Betty McCollum defeated Republican challenger Greg Ryan
  • In CD5, Democrat Ilhan Omar defeated Republican challenger Jennifer Zielinski – making her the first Somali-American elected to Congress, and the second Muslim woman elected
  • In CD6, incumbent Republican Tom Emmer retained his seat, defeating DFL-er Ian Todd
  • In CD7, incumbent Democrat Collin Peterson retained his seat, defeating Republican challenger Dave Hughes
  • In CD8, Republican Pete Stauber defeated Democrat Joe Radinovich, flipping control of this district
  • Despite the significant changes in CD2, 3, 8, and (most likely) 1, the DFL-Republican split within Minnesota’s congressional delegation will remain 5 seats to 3.

State (Minnesota legislature)

  • In the race for Governor, Democrat Tim Walz defeated Republican Jeff Johnson
  • Despite a challenging election cycle, Keith Ellison beat out Keith Wardlow in the race for Attorney General
  • Current Secretary of State Steve Simon won re-election
  • Republicans retained a one-seat majority in the state Senate, with current Representative Jeff Howe defeating Democrat Joe Perske in the special election in District 13 – the only Senate seat on ballots this year – vacated by current Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach
  • Democrats flipped 18 seats in the state House of Representatives, somewhat unexpectedly reclaiming a majority in the lower body. The following seats flipped from Republican to Democrat:
    • 5A: John Persell (D) defeated incumbent Matt Bliss (R) to reclaim the seat he lost in 2016 by only .2% – triggering an automatic recount
    • 14B: Without a coordinated write-in candidate effort after Representative Jim Knoblach (R) suspended his campaign in October, Dan Wolgamott (D) won this seat with 58% of the vote
    • 33B: Kelly Morrison (D) defeated incumbent Cindy Pugh (R)
    • 34B: Kristin Bahner (D) defeated incumbent Dennis Smith (R)
    • 36A: Zack Stephenson (D) defeated Bill Maresh (R) in this race for an open seat currently held by Representative Mark Uglem
    • 38B: Ami Wazlawik (D) defeated Patti Anderson (R)  in this race for an open seat currently held by Matt Dean
    • 39B: Shelly Christensen (D) defeated incumbent Kathy Lohmer (R)
    • 42A: Kelly Moller (D) defeated incumbent Randy Jessup (R)
    • 44A: Ginny Klevorn (D) defeated incumbent Sarah Anderson (R)
    • 48B: Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (D) defeated incumbent Jenifer Loon (R)
    • 49A: Heather Edelson (D) defeated incumbent Dario Anselmo (R)
    • 52B: Ruth Richardson (D) defeated incumbent Regina Barr (R)
    • 53B: Steve Sandell (D) defeated incumbent Kelly Fenton (R)
    • 54A: Anne Claflin (D) defeated incumbent Keith Franke (R)
    • 55A: Brad Tabke (D) defeated Erik Mortenson (R) for the seat currently held by Representative Bob Loon, who lost in the August primary
    • 56A: Hunter Cantrell (D) defeated incumbent Drew Christensen (R)
    • 56B: Alice Mann (D) defeated incumbent Roz Peterson (R)
    • 57B: John Huot (D) defeated incumbent Anna Wills ®


On average, 17 seats in the state House of Representatives flip parties during midterm elections – in favor of the party opposite the sitting President. Democrats needed only 11 seats in order to regain the majority

The following were elected to Senate and House leadership positions on Thursday (11/8):

  • President of the Senate: Jeremy Miller (R, 28)
  • Senate Majority Leader: Paul Gazelka (R, 09)
  • Senate Minority Leader: Not yet announced
  • Speaker of the House: Melissa Hortman (D, 36B)
  • House Majority Leader: Ryan Winkler (D, 46A)
  • House Minority Leader: Not yet announced

With Republicans in control of the Senate and Democrats in control of the House, Minnesota’s legislature is the only in the nation with split control.

To see who won in your district, visit the Secretary of State’s Minnesota Election Results page.


Also of note, The Arc Minnesota Board member Kim Norton was elected as the first female Mayor in Rochester, Minnesota on Tuesday. Congratulations to Kim!

With questions or for more information about the 2018 midterm election outcomes, please contact aliciamunson@arcminnesota.org. Thank you!