The math: What Democrats hope to get from Obama's Minnesota endorsements

Republicans currently control the Minnesota House by a 73-61 margin.
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The president is trying to help Minnesota's Democrats win this fall.

President Barack Obama is endorsing dozens of state House candidates across the country in an effort to help his party flip or hold onto swing districts, according to Politico.

And that includes eight competitive races in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

“We are thrilled that President Obama is endorsing our candidates in some of the most competitive races across the country,” Jessica Post, executive director of Minnesota's Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, said in a news release. “His endorsement highlights how crucial state legislative elections are to building on the progress the president has achieved and to continuing to move our nation forward.”

Getting a majority

All 134 Minnesota state representatives are on the ballot this year.

Republicans currently control the House by a margin of 12 representatives – 73 Republicans to 61 DFLers, the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library's website shows.

Democrats are hoping to take control by flipping enough districts to give them the advantage. To do so, DFL candidates would need to win in at least seven districts currently held by GOP lawmakers – and hope no Republicans flip a currently-Democratic district. Remember, Obama is endorsing eight DFL candidates.

If Democrats flip the House, the party also controls the state Senate by a margin of 10. If that holds, it would mean Minnesota would return to a DFL-controlled government (the state House, state Senate, and governor). That's how it was after the 2012 election, until Republicans won back the House in 2014.

Here's a look at who Obama is endorsing, as well as which party the current lawmaker in that district is affiliated with.

14B – currently Republican

Obama's endorsement: Zach Dorholt, DFL

Zach Dorholt is running for Minnesota House District 14B in an effort to unseat incumbent Republican Jim Knoblach.

This is a rematch from the 2014 race, when Knoblach won 50.2 percent of the vote to unseat Dorholt, who represented the St. Cloud-area district from 2013-14.

Knoblach is in his seventh term, though not consecutive. He represented 15A from 1995 to 2007.

25B – currently DFL

Obama's endorsement: Duane Sauke, DFL

Duane Sauke is running for the House District 25B seat after incumbent Democrat Kim Norton decided not to seek re-election. Norton ran unopposed in 2014, and won 94.91 percent of the vote. Norton won in 2012 as well over a Republican opponent.

Sauke is going up against Republican Fran Bradleywho is trying to return to the legislature. He served in House District 30A from 1995-2002, and District 29B from 2003-2006.

42B – currently DFL

Obama's endorsement: Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL

Democrat Jamie Becker-Finn is running against Republican Tracy Nelson in Minnesota House District 42B – neither of which are the incumbent.

Democrat Jason Isaacson has represented the district for the past two terms, but Isaacson decided not to seek re-election this year. In 2014, Isaacson was re-elected after receiving 52.3 percent of the vote.

District 42B includes Little Canada, Vadnais Heights, Gem Lake and portions of Roseville and Shoreview.

49B – currently DFL

Obama's endorsement: Paul Rosenthal, DFL

Incumbent Democrat Paul Rosenthal, of Edina, is the only sitting representative to get an endorsement from the president. In 2014, he won the Minnesota House District 49B race with nearly 53 percent of the vote, marking his third non-consecutive term in office.

Max Rymer, a Republican, is challenging Rosenthal for the seat.

50B – currently Republican

Obama's endorsement: Andrew Carlson, DFL

Democrat Andrew Carlson is challenging incumbent Republican Chad Anderson for the Minnesota House District 50B seat.

Anderson, of Bloomington, defeated Carlson in a special election for the 50B seat with 51.2 percent of the vote. Democrat Ann Lenczewiski previously represented the district from 2013-2015.

52B – currently DFL

Obama's endorsement: Mary T’Kach, DFL

Mary T'Kach is facing off against Republican Regina Barr in the House District 52B seat – neither candidate has served in the Legislature before. Barr is a real estate agent, while T'Kach has been on the Inver Grove Heights Planning Commission and is currently on the city's Housing Committee.

In 2014, Democrat Joe Atkins won the district, defeating Republican Don Lee with 64.47 percent of the vote. But Atkins isn't running again.

District 52B covers eastern Dakota County, including Inver Grove Heights and part of Mendota Heights.

56B – currently Republican

Obama's endorsement: Lindsey Port, DFL

Democrat Lindsey Port is running against Republican incumbent Rep. Roz Peterson in House District 56B to bring the district back to the Democrats. 

In 2014, Peterson ousted the incumbent Democrat Will Morgan by winning 53.99 percent of the vote. It's Peterson’s first term in the legislature. 

District 56B covers part of Dakota County, including Burnsville and Lakeville.

57A – currently Republican

Obama's endorsement: Erin Maye Quade , DFL 

Erin Maye Quade is looking to flip the House District 57A seat from Republican to Democrat. Incumbent Republican Rep. Tara Mack is finishing up her fourth term in the legislature, after winning 58.44 percent of the vote 2014. She is not running for re-election.

Ali Jimenez-Hopper is on the Republican ticket.

House District 57A covers Dakota County, including parts of Apple Valley and Lakeville.

To find news, commentary, and local events leading up to the 2016 election, head to Go Vote MN.

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