State Profile

Minnesota, the North Star State, has in recent history been a reliable Democratic stronghold – voting for the Democratic presidential candidate in the past 11 election cycles. After joining the Union in 1858, Minnesota voted for Republican presidential candidates from 1860 through the unfolding of the Great Depression, with the exception of voting for Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. During the 21st century, Minnesota has only supported Democratic presidential hopefuls. Although the 2016 presidential election results placed the Democrat’s strong control over Minnesota in relative question, Hillary Clinton still remained victorious, besting Donald Trump by 1.5 percent. The 2016 results have given President Trump hope that he may swing the state in 2020, with his campaign now vowing to spend considerable resources in the state.

The Minnesota congressional delegation began the 21st century in the 106th Congress with 8 members and a 6-2 Democrat majority. The delegation was held largely by Republicans from 1859 until the middle of the 20th century, then trended Democratic from 1975 until the present. Currently, Minnesota’s delegation has eight seats in total with a split of 5-3 Democrat majority.

In the Senate, seats have not been split since 2009, and Republicans have no held majority since the 101st Congress from 1989 to 1991. The last Republican majority in the Senate was 1947 to 1949.  Currently, Democrats maintain a control over both Senate seats with Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith.

The statewide offices in Minnesota have historically leaned towards Republican control. In total, there have been 26 Republican governors of Minnesota compared to just 11 Democrats who have held the office. However, there has been a recent shift, and Republicans have not held the governorship since 2011. The Governor of Minnesota is currently Democrat Tim Walz and the Lieutenant Governor is Democrat Peggy Flanagan.

Minnesota’s population is increasing and, in the next 20 years, the youth population of Minnesota will undergo modest growth by about 32,000 people, and the elderly population will increase at a larger volume by greater than 510,000 people. Minnesota is the 12th largest state in the U.S. in terms of pure surface area and 21st in the U.S. in relation to population.

Minnesota is experiencing a shift of its population concentrating in urban areas. Nearly three-fourths of Minnesota residents are living in urban areas. The state’s 13 “entirely urban” counties are growing primarily because of international migration. Given the increased projection of the elderly population, it is important to note how the elderly populations of Minnesota are concentrated in rural areas. 44 percent of rural residents are 50 or older. Residents of Minnesota’s rural areas account for 8 percent of Minnesota’s population. While the total population of Minnesotans living in rural areas has remained relatively consistent since 1900, the expected growth of the state’s population should not be neglected.



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