The Republican party machinery was in shambles before the election, with financial straits severe enough that little help could be provided to most candidates.
Minnesota voters weighed in Tuesday on dozens of races, including ballot initiatives about gay marriage and voter ID, the presidential race, representatives for Congress and the U.S. Senate. Here's a few things worth knowing about how things turned out:
1. BLUE STREAK
Minnesota Republicans are surely tired of hearing that no GOP presidential candidate has carried the state since Nixon in '72. Mitt Romney's performance on Tuesday, unfortunately, means that four years from now they'll be hearing it again. Obama's eight-point margin of victory surely bolstered the idea that his final-week efforts in Minnesota were little more than a feint to draw off Obama's money and attention from more competitive states.
1. MINNESOTANS ARE OK WITH THEIR CONSTITUTION
Tuesday's ballot offered Minnesota a chance to make a couple of major revisions to its constitution. Minnesota — well, a little more than half of it — politely declined. Voters' rejection of a same-sex marriage ban wasn't a shocker; after all, opponents rolled up millions of dollars and put in thousands of volunteer hours to try to kill it. But the photo ID requirement was, with opponents claiming that too little attention was being paid because of the marriage amendment.
1. GOP WOES/DEMS' OPPORTUNITY
The Republican party machinery was in shambles before the election, with financial straits severe enough that little help could be provided to most candidates. But Tuesday's losses were so widespread that party leaders may wonder if they overreached after voters handed them legislative control. Now that Democrats are back in power, will they do the same?
1. RECOUNT? NO THANKS
After major statewide recounts in 2008 and 2010, Minnesota looked to be in the clear this time around. Republican Michele Bachmann's lead over Democrat Jim Graves threatened just such an outcome until she opened up a 5,000-vote lead in the wee hours Wednesday morning.
1. TAKE A BREAK
Like the rest of the country, Minnesota gets a much-needed break from politicking. Two major races loom in 2014, when both Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken will be up. It's likely their races will start in earnest well before 2014.