Changes in Minnesota’s Clout in Washington

I charted out the recent election’s seniority changes to Minnesota’s delegation in the US House of Representatives:

112th House of Representatives Seniority Gain/Loss for MN

The Oberstar to Cravaack flip in the 8th district certainly stands out. That was the only seat to change hands in Minnesota this year, so all other seats gained in seniority. Colin Peterson, in the 7th, gained the least (71st to 60th in seniority), but he also has the fewest seats to gain.Peterson could reach Oberstar’s seniority level in less than 2 decades at the rate he’s going.

Wikipedia has seniority data going back to the 103rd Congress. Plotting that data over time lead to this:

Seniority of Minnesota's House of Representative Seats

Previous spikes is lost seniority were caused by Ramstead retiring (3rd), Gutknecht losing (1st), Sabo retiring (5th), Vento dying (4th), Minge losing (2nd), and Tim Penny retiring (1st).

Averaging out the seniority of Minnesota’s US House members, ads a 9th line to the chart:

Average Seniority of Minnesota's Delegation to US House

Which shows that Minnesota has been steadily losing clout in Washington since 2001.

Since at least 1993, the 6th District has consistently been a below average seat for seniority. Averaging out the seniority of each house seat since 1993 looks like this:


Perhaps Bachmann will change that record overtime by getting reelected again and again? It seems like she may have other plans, so the 6th may return to the cheap seats sooner than later.

2 thoughts on “Changes in Minnesota’s Clout in Washington”

  1. Personally, I’d rather have fresh faces, fresh ideas, and citizen legislators than old, entrenched, out-of-touch geezers.

    How about instead of encouraging career politicians, how about term limits?

  2. @Tyler, good point about term limits. But, until they exist, the state would be shooting itself in the foot to keep churning through Reps.

    And, redistricting often polarizes districts further, leading to even safer seats for incumbents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.