Minnesota districts tops for split votes; Voters picked Dem congressmen and Donald Trump

Published 10:39 am Tuesday, January 31, 2017

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger

St. Paul Pioneer Press

U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson, Tim Walz and Rick Nolan are all Democrats who won in districts last year that Republican President Donald Trump also won.

Email newsletter signup

That’s remarkable enough — only 12 Democratic House members won in districts that Trump also won, according to data collected by the left-leaning website Daily Kos.

But Peterson, Walz, Nolan and Minnesota voters are even more remarkable. The data show that the three Minnesota representatives stand out among the 12 in their wins in districts that Trump took by significant margins.

Peterson, who has long held down a western Minnesota district in which Republican presidential candidates tend to prevail, won even though Trump beat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by 30 percentage points in the 7th Congressional District. That’s the largest Trump victory in a district a Democrat won across the nation.

Nolan’s northeastern Minnesota comes in second in the nation for its split between choices for the U.S. House and president. Trump won that area by nearly 16 percentage points. Walz’s southern Minnesota district is third in those nationwide rankings; Trump won the district by 15 percentage points.

Minnesota’s divided districts do not end with Democrats. U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, whose district includes suburban Hennepin County, won re-election last year even though Clinton won his district by 9.4 percentage points, in the two-party vote.