Minnesota is poised to become the 12th state to legalize gay marriage after the state House signed off on it Thursday on a 75-59 vote. The bill is expected to pass the state Senate next week and Gov. Mark Dayton (D) has said he will sign it.
We spoke with state House Speaker Paul Thissen (D) about the bill, what it took to win passage, and what it means for the larger debate.
The National Journal today is out with a look at the 2014 Minnesota Senate race.
The newsiest bit is former senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) making clear he wants no part of a rematch with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) after Franken defeated him by just 312 votes in 2008.
And in fact, Coleman seems to think Franken will be pretty hard to beat:
Last Tuesday's election was a watershed moment for the gay marriage movement. Voters in three states voted to legalize it -- something no state had done before -- and a fourth state voted against a proposed ban.
And if the movement catches on in other states, African Americans and Latinos will be a big reason why.
The Fix today is moving Minnesota, the state that hasn’t voted Republican since 1972, from “solid Obama” to “lean Obama.” The move comes in response to two major developments:
1) A new Star Tribune poll conducted by Mason-Dixon and released Sunday showed Mitt Romney within the margin of error against Obama, with Obama at 47 percent and Romney at 44 percent. That’s closer than any other poll has shown.
Mitt Romney is knocking on the door of adding another state to the mix in the 2012 election, with a new poll in Minnesota showing him within the margin of error.
The new Minneapolis Star Tribune poll, conducted by pollster Mason-Dixon, shows Obama at 47 percent and Romney at 44 percent. The same pollster showed Obama leading in the Land of 10,000 Lakes by eight points last month.
Update: This event has been postponed. Stay tuned to The Fix for a new date and time.
How has Congress changed in the past 30 years? Former congressman Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), who retired from Congress in 1981, will have a unique take on that if his campaign to defeat Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) is successful in November.
Voters head to the polls in four states today, with Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin holding congressional primaries.
As usual, The Fix has zeroed in on five things to watch as the results roll in tonight:
1. The most expensive congressional primary in the country
That would be Connecticut’s 5th district, where seven candidates have raised at least $600,000 and five have raised more than $1 million. A total of nearly $10 million has already been raised just to decide each party’s nominee.
The most interesting subplot is on the Democratic side, where state House Speaker Chris Donovan remains the favorite despite the fact that his campaign manager and top fundraiser have both been arrested and charged with corruption. Organized labor and progressive groups remain firmly behind Donovan, who has not been implicated in the wrongdoing and has won the state party’s endorsement as well.
A court-appointed redistricting panel in Minnesota on Tuesday released a congressional map that could help Democrats pick off a seat or two in the coming elections.
The big headline coming out of the map was how Reps. Michele Bachmann (R) and Betty McCollum (D) had their homes drawn into the same Democratic-leaning 4th district. But Bachmann said Tuesday that she will remain in her current 6th district, which actually gets slightly safer for her.
(Bachmann has done a good job raising a fuss about the situation, which should help her raise money to retire the debt from her presidential campaign, but she actually has very little to worry about in the primary or the general election.)
The real news here is what the map does in the state’s more competitive districts.
A supposedly less-important Election Day on Tuesday got pretty interesting by the time it was all said and done.
We’ve combed through all the results so we can lay it all out for you — as usual — in the form of winners and losers.
* Rick Santorum: This is a guy who was left for dead just a few days ago. Not only did he not get a bump from his performance in Iowa in early January; he actually fared pretty poorly even after the Iowa GOP declared him a winner two weeks later.
After Tuesday, he’s got a lot to hang his hat on, winning all three contests, and beating the polls by a large margin. It’s up to him now to prove his appeal isn’t just a Midwest thing or a one-time deal, and that he can raise enough money to be the true anti-Mitt Romney candidate.
He also has yet to prove that he can beat a fully engaged Romney machine. But Tuesday was a great start.
Tuesday was an embarrassing night for Mitt Romney, and nowhere was that more true than in Minnesota.
This was a state where the former Massachusetts governor had nearly everything going for him:
* He won the state in the 2008 presidential race by 18 points.
* He had the backing of the state’s two most high-profile Republicans, former governor Tim Pawlenty and former senator Norm Coleman. This is in contrast to his last two wins in Florida and Nevada, where the most high-profile Republicans kept their powder dry.
* And unlike the Missouri primary, which he also lost on Tuesday, Newt Gingrich was on the ballot in Minnesota, potentially stealing votes from Rick Santorum.
But despite all that, with nearly half of the vote in, Romney is in a distant third place, far behind even second-place Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and taking only about one in every six votes in tonight’s Minnesota caucuses.
Santorum, meanwhile, is flirting with taking 50 percent of the vote.
For the first time since Iowa, we are entering a primary/caucus night without having a pretty good idea who will win.
And some people are arguing that today’s contests don’t matter?
So as you prepare to watch the results tonight from the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses and the Missouri primary (we’ll be live-blogging!), here are a few things to watch for…
1. How many states does Santorum win?
Everything else you see below will be based on this one piece of news.
Polling shows Rick Santorum is the favorite to win in both Minnesota and Missouri, while Mitt Romney is favored in Colorado.