Minnesota is a big state, my 65-year-old elementary geography class helping me recall, I think, that our state is the 12th-largest in the contiguous 48 states at about 85,000 square mile
There are 87 counties in our state, the largest in the Midwest, if I remember right. And in Tuesday's election the DFL team of incumbents Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan won in only 13 of the 87 counties (15%) but waltzed to a majority of about 193,000 votes over Scott Jensen and Matt Birk.
Walz and Flanagan took 70.4% of the votes (405,002) in Hennepin County which includes Minneapolis. They also won in Ramsey County which includes St. Paul with 155,849 votes, 71.5% of the votes cast in that county. In St. Louis County, which includes Duluth, there were 53,351 votes for Walz. In Washington County, part of the metro, there were 70,814 votes for Walz, 54.2%of the votes cast in that county. In Dakota County, also part of the metro, voters cast 112,025 votes for Walz. And in Olmsted County, which includes Rochester, there were 37.471 for Walz. Just in those few counties that figures out to about 830,000 votes for Walz. And if you throw in Blue Earth County, where Mankato is included, there were13,783. Now we're talking about nearly 850,000 votes of the 1,312,303 that were cast for Walz, with Jensen garnering 1,119,926.
Through the years at the Legislature there have been outcries from outstate legislators, and even ordinary citizens, about the metro counties getting a larger percentage of revenue than we get out here in the boonies. Now, that may or may not be true, but lots of people look at it that way, and always will.
Here in Mille Lacs County Jensen and Birk got 65.1% of the vote, or 3,390 votes. In neighboring Isanti County the percentage was also 65.1%, or 5,578 votes. In neighboring Benton County it was 64.1%, or 5.244 votes. In fast-growing Sherburne County it was 63.7%, or 26,517 votes. In Kanabec County it was 64%, or 2,277 votes. The figures were about the same percentage in other counties near Mille Lacs, such as Pine County, with 4,290 votes for Jensen and Morrison County with 3,651 (74.6%).Those seven outstate counties came up with about 51,000 votes for Jensen, far short of the approximately 850,00 for Walz in the counties mentioned above that include a large city.
Let's be clear: The majority does rule in elections for a whole state. But when you look at figures like these you can understand, at least a little bit, why some in the outstate areas (I don't like the "Greater Minnesota" designation) feel like they're getting the short end of the stick.
In the few weeks preceding this midterm election the worries about a recession (I'm giddy today - the Dow is up about 1,000 points and climbing as I write Thursday morning), inflation and an increase in crime such as carjacking, seemed the be the big talking points. But In Minnesota I think Republicans may have overlooked abortion rights. That subject may have had a large effect on those who went to the polls.
I just took a look at the letters to the editor in today's StarTribune, about 90 minutes after I began research for this blog, and sure enough - there was a guy from Paynesville who wrote, "Once again we see the metro area making the decision for the entire state which clearly disagrees. Disgusting! Enjoy the taxes!" Perception IS reality in cases such as this one.
So far, only two days after the election, I haven't heard of anyone saying they weren't going to abide by the vote totals and that the election was stolen. I'll leave it up to those a lot higher up in the food chain than me to figure out why there was not a tsunami, or red wave, for Republicans this time around. And we're likely to hear, if you haven't already, that the Legislature should be able to get things done in a more timely manner since the Democrats control both the Senate and the House, along with a Democrat in the governor's seat. After all, some will say, we have a surplus of about $9 billion and there is a one-time chance to make use of that. Of course, it won't be that easy. Many will want a piece of the pie.
The governor said the day after the election that "'One Minnesota' is not just a slogan." We'll see.
Vikings will be tested this month
Most fans of the Minnesota Vikings likely think their team should beat the 4-4 Washington Commanders in Sunday's game in D.C. The Vikings are 6-1 and well ahead of the rest of the Central Division at this time and are a 3-point favorite in the betting odds.
The Commanders have had a resurgence lately w.
Nov. 7, 1957 - The third year of wrestling at PHS was to begin with a match at Brainerd. The team, with Bill Schultz as coach, was 8-8-1 the previous year. Schultz, a PHS teacher, had suggested the idea of starting wrestling to Superintendent Arnie Dahle in 1955.
Nov. 8, 1962 - Football coach Pete Finelli wrote about his seniors in a season-ending story in the Union. He noted that senior quarterback Dean Hansen, who scored 31 of the team's 32 points in the season-ending win over Ogilvie, completed more than 60 percent of his passes in three years of playing quarterback.
Nov. 9, 1967 - Named all-conference in football were Don McAlpine, Denny Sternquist, Tom Enger, Bob Backlund (the starting backfield), Pete Swanson and Mike Culligan. Sternquist scored 90points and averaged 8.4 yards a carry, Enger averaged 9.1 and McAlpine 5.6.PHS ended the season with an unbeaten string of 15.
Nov. 9, 1972 -A PHS water polo team won the consolation title in the 12-team state meet at the U of M . . . The football team ended the season with a 20-0 conference loss to Elk River. The season record was 2-7, 2-5 in the Rum River.
Nov. 10, 1977 - Princeton beat Milaca in the consolation match of the subregion volleyball tournament and finished the season at 4-12. Tammy Geurkink led in completed serves with 113..
Nov. 11 1982 - Duluth put an end to the PHS volleyball season in the section semifinals at Duluth Central, winning 18-14 in the deciding third set after Princeton led 14-12. The season record was 18-4 . . . Seniors George Gerrard. Brian Meyer and Chris Prescott were all-conference in football. Honorable mention went to seniors Dan Springman and Chuck Munsterman, and junior Brian Dorr. Dorr and John Libby were named captains for the next season.
Nov. 5, 1987 - The Rum River Conference turned down applications by Melrose, Albany and St. Cloud Cathedral from the disbanding Central Gopher Conference and planned to invite Sartell . . . The PHS boys cross-country team had an incomplete score at the section meet in Grand Rapids when two runners were disqualified for missing a turn on the course.
Nov. 5, 1992 - Princeton lost 38-33 to Spring Lake Park in section semifinals as Duane Davis ran for 125 yards. The Tigers led 17-14 late in the first half . . . The volleyball team finished as co-champs in the Rum River with Sauk Rapids by beating North Branch in the final match of the regular season. Corrine Lundell had 24 kills . . . Shelley Ziwisky lost in the first round of the state tennis tournament.
Nov. 6, 1997 - PHS grad Phil Trier, a freshman starting defensive end at the University of St. Thomas, had three sacks in a 28-3 win over St. Olaf . . . The volleyball team beat St. Francis in three sets in a section quarterfinal match, 15-4, 15-11 and 15-10 for its 22nd win of the season . . . Miriam Wilhelm was named MVP for the Tiger tennis team.
(Dorr is the former editor of the Princeton Eagle (2 years) and Princeton Union-Eagle (31 years), and has written about sports in the area for the past 54 years.)