MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Donald Trump this week vowed he will win Minnesota in the 2020 election.
It’s a tall order for a traditionally blue state, and new research shows Minnesota Congress members vote strictly along party lines.
It’s not a surprise that Congressional Republicans vote with their Republican president, and Democrats do not. On average, Minnesota’s Republicans vote with President Trump 94.9% of the time. Minnesota’s Democrats vote with the president only 5.6% of the time.
But when you pull back the curtain, the tally by the website 538.com offers a fascinating inside look at how and even why they voted the way they did.
In 2016, President Trump was hugely popular in the conservative Democratic northwest Minnesota, winning by more than 30 points (30.8), and in Republican Central Minnesota by 25.7 points. But in heavily-populated Democratic inner-city districts, he lost by 55.2 points and 30.9 points.
The voting patterns of Minnesota’s eight Congress members and two U.S. Senators reflect that, depending largely on the political leanings of where they live. From most to least, here’s how Minnesota voted this year:
- Republican Tom Emmer: 97.4% of the time with President Trump.
- Republican Jim Hagedorn: 95%.
- Republican Pete Stauber: 92.5%.
Hagedorn’s only vote against a Trump-supported issue came in May, when he voted against a resolution “Reaffirming the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe reservation in Massachusetts.” Hagedorn’s office did not respond to our request for comment, or to explain his reasons for the vote.
Among Democrats, Collin Peterson voted 15% of the time with Trump; newly-elected Angie Craig and Dean Phillips voted 2.5% of the time; and Democrat Betty McCollum has a Trump voting record of 0.0% — not a single vote for any Trump-sponsored legislation.
We asked McCollum about her 0% votes, and she had this blunt response: “When a White House advances bad policy, I’m going to vote to protect my constituents. In the case of President Trump, that’s 100% of the time.”
Minnesota’s two Senate Democrats have nearly-identical Trump voting records:
- Amy Klobuchar 6.3%.
- Tina Smith, 5.9%.
And hard to believe, but true, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar — a frequent Trump target — voted with him 7.5% of the time, mostly because she voted against Democratic bills she felt compromised too much with Republicans.
Here are some of the sources we used for this Reality Check: