MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Inside Jo Jo’s in Burnsville, people visited with friends Monday over a cup of coffee, many of them aware that they’re living in District 56-B, a race that’s is expected to be very close.

It could shift the power from Democrats to Republicans.

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“I think having an opportunity to swing the favor back into the Republican side would be a good thing for the state,” said one man.

Republican Roz Peterson is trying again to unseat DFL’er Will Morgan. Two years ago, Peterson lost by 170 votes. She believes it’s better to have a balance when it comes to running the government.

“I believe we get better policies when both sides of the story are taking into consideration,” Peterson said. “We get a better outcome.”

University of Minnesota political science professor Katherine Pearson says Republicans need a net gain of seven seats to take control of the chamber. She says the midterm election favors Republicans.

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“When the president isn’t very popular, which is the case right now, the out party does even better,” she said. “So, structurally, the Republicans have that advantage.”

And Pearson says voter turnout isn’t as high in non-presidential years.

“The voters who tend to drop off are more likely to be Democratic voters than Republican voters,” Pearson said.

Big money is pouring into both campaigns from outside interests. Incumbent Morgan says he doesn’t like the fact that they don’t control the message in those ads.

“It’d be one thing if all the people who were supporting me were saying ‘Will’s done this. Support Will. Blah blah blah.’ And if the people supporting Roz said ‘Roz has done this. And Roz wants to do this.’ But most of it is not that,” Morgan said. “Most of that outside stuff is very negative. Some of it is very misleading.”

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If Republicans do win control of the House and there is divided state government, Pearson says we could be looking at the same kind of gridlock seen in 2012.