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Stunning victory for voting rights and civil rights, and historic perspective on partisan control

Date Published: 11/07/2012


Two big obvious takeaways from Nov. 6.

By larger margins than anyone dreamed possible, Minnesotans rejected proposed amendments to the state constitution that would have done damage to voting rights, civil rights and human rights in Minnesota. It truly was a historic day, perhaps a turning point, as Minnesota moves forward to re-establish its reputation as a progressive and tolerant state, one that aims to realize the full potential of all its people.

And as a political reporter whose job it was to offer analysis after elections, I'm wondering whether someone will assess what may be a historic level of partisan control. I've noticed a couple media reports noting that the Legislature and governor's office are in DFL hands for the first time since 1990. But with control now of both U.S. Senate seats (Republicans had both U.S. Senate seats through the 1980s), both chambers in the Legislature, all statewide constitutional offices, and 5 of 8 congressional seats, this may be the most landscape controlled by the DFL since the late 1970s. Hubris and arrogance about a mandate are not advised. In 1978, Republicans swept back in to power with the Minnesota Massacre, in a harbinger of the "Reagan Revolution" nationally two years later.

--Dane Smith


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