Welcome to the Thursday, September 22, Brew.
By: Samuel Wonacott
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Monitor the intersection of politics and business with our Economics and Society newsletter
- Battleground preview: Evers, Michels running for Wisconsin governor
- Minnesota’s Democratic triplex at stake with voters deciding gubernatorial, attorney general, and secretary of state elections
Monitor the intersection of politics and business with our Economy and Society newsletter
Business and politics have long been among the most powerful forces in our society. The relationships between the two are constantly changing – reflecting both the dynamism of the U.S. economy and the political response to it.
We’ve seen instances of this evolving relationship in recent news stories. In some states, executive branch officials are questioning the use of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) investment strategies in their public pension plans. Elsewhere, the owner of outdoor outfitter Patagonia transferred control of the company to a trust that will use all future profits to fight climate change.
Making sense of the latest news, policies, regulations, legal challenges, and more has been a huge challenge. But we’re here to help.
Our free, weekly newsletter, Economy and Society, is designed to help government relations and financial professionals, scholars, and the general public understand the issues, policies, and politics that shape the nexus between business and politics.
In every issue of Economy and Society our expert policy team brings you the latest news and insights on issues like:
- Corporate activism and the political responses to it
- The politics surrounding ESG
- The role of public pension funds in social debates
- Curated selections of the latest scholarship and research on political economy
- And much more!
The bottom line: Economy and Society is your go-to source for the information you need to understand the politics of corporations, and the business of politics.
Best of all, Economy and Society is produced the Ballotpedia way – factual, neutral, and comprehensive.
Want to sample the newsletter before subscribing? Check out our archive of recent issues, which covered such topics as:
- State attorneys general questioning conflicts of interest in ESG policies
- Arizona’s pension board adopting anti-ESG investment standards
- Chinese companies delisting from U.S. exchanges may cause problems for investors
- The SEC crackdown on funds marketed as ESG that don’t act that way
Subscribing is easy and, as always, free of charge. To start your subscription, just click the link below.
Battleground preview: Evers, Michels running for Wisconsin governor
We’re previewing pivotal battleground elections across the country between now and election day. Today, we’re looking at the Wisconsin gubernatorial election—one of 12 gubernatorial battlegrounds this year.
Evers was elected in 2018, defeating then-Gov. Scott Walker (R) 49.5% to 48.4%. Before becoming governor, Evers served 10 years as the Wisconsin superintendent of public instruction and as deputy superintendent for eight years before that. Evers’ campaign website says he has “worked to bring people together around common sense solutions that make Wisconsin stronger” and names “signing a bipartisan income tax cut, fixing thousands of miles of roads and bridges, investing in apprenticeships and job training programs, and increasing resources for our public schools” among his accomplishments. Evers was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Michels, a 12-year U.S. Army veteran, is co-owner and vice president of an energy and infrastructure construction company. Michels says he is “a businessman, not a politician.” After winning the Republican nomination, Michels said, “[T]his race has always been about … standing up for the hard-working people of Wisconsin. They’ve been left behind by the Democratic Party that just wants to focus on the social issues. From my first day in office to my very last day as governor, jobs and the economy are going to be my number one priority.”
Independent forecasters consider the election a toss-up. Post-primary polls have not shown either candidate with a statistically significant lead. As of July 25, the last date for which campaign finance data is available, Evers has raised $21,708,994 to Michels’ $12,018,573.
Politically, Wisconsin is one of the most competitive states in the country. Four of the six presidential elections since 2000 have been decided by less than one percentage point. Wisconsin has a Democratic triplex and a divided trifecta. The Democratic Party controls the offices of governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. The Republican Party controls both chambers of the state legislature. When Evers was elected in 2018, Republicans had controlled state government for eight years. Before that, Democrats had a trifecta for two years. Democrats gained a triplex in Wisconsin in 2018 when Democratic candidates defeated Republican incumbents in the elections for governor and attorney general, and the Democratic secretary of state was re-elected.
Wisconsin is one of seven states where the lieutenant governor is nominated in a separate primary but runs on a single ticket with the gubernatorial nominee in the general election. State Sen. Roger Roth (R) and state Assembly member Sara Rodriguez (D) are running for lieutenant governor.
Click below to read more about Wisconsin’s gubernatorial election.
Early voting for the general election in Minnesota begins Sept. 23
Today is the 18th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring Minnesota, the North Star State.
Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas
On the ballot in Minnesota
At the federal level, Minnesota voters will elect eight U.S. Representatives. Minnesota is one of 15 states that does not have a U.S. Senate seat up for election this year. At the state level, voters will elect a governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and auditor.
In the state legislature, all 67 districts in the state Senate and all 134 districts in the state House of Representatives are up for election. Sixty-three districts across both chambers are open. That represents 31% of the state’s legislature, an increase compared to the preceding four election cycles.
Additionally, two seats on the state supreme court are up for election. Minnesota is one of 30 states holding elections for state supreme court.
Minnesota was apportioned eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it received after the 2010 census.
Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Minnesota:
To use our tool to view Minnesota’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Minnesota redistricting page.
- Minnesota’s U.S. Senators—Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith—are Democrats.
- Minnesota’s U.S. House delegation is split 4-4 between Republicans and Democrats.
- Republicans hold a 34-31 majority in the state Senate. One state senator is an independent, and there is currently one vacancy. Democrats have a 69-63 majority in the state House. One state representative is an independent, and there is currently one vacancy.
- Minnesota has had a Democratic governor since 2011.
- Because the governor is a Democrat, Minnesota is one of 13 states with divided government, where neither party holds trifecta control. Minnesota has had a divided government since 2014 after the Republican Party captured the state House, breaking the state’s Democratic trifecta.
- Along with the governor, the secretary of state and attorney general are also Democrats, making the state one of 18 with a Democratic triplex among those offices.
Seats contested by only one major party
In 2022, 26 state legislative seats in Minnesota, or 13% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.
Democrats are running in 96% of all state legislative races. Eight state legislative seats (4% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and a Republican is likely to win.
Republicans are running in 91% of all state legislative races. Eighteen seats (9% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and a Democrat is likely to win.
- Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District: Incumbent Angie Craig (D) is running against Tyler Kistner (R) and Paula Overby (Legal Marijuana Now Party). Craig was first elected in 2018. Craig defeated Kistner in 2020 48.2% to 45.9%.
- Minnesota gubernatorial election: Incumbent Gov. Tim Walz (D), Scott Jensen (R), Steve Patterson (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party of Minnesota), Hugh McTavish (Independence Party of Minnesota), James McCaskel (Legal Marijuana Now Party), and Gabrielle Prosser (Socialist Workers Party) are running for governor. Walz was first elected in 2018. Since 1990, Minnesota has had two Democratic governors, two Republican governors, and one Reform Party governor. The two most recent presidential elections in Minnesota, both of which were won by Democrats, were decided by seven percentage points or less. Tim Pawlenty (R), who served from 2003 to 2011, was Minnesota’s last Republican governor.
- Minnesota Attorney General election: Incumbent Keith Ellison (D) is running against Jim Schultz (R). Ellison, a former U.S. Representative, was first elected attorney general in 2018.
- Minnesota Secretary of State election: Incumbent Steve Simon (D) is running against Kim Crockett (R) in the general election. Simon was first elected in 2014.
- Polling locations open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.
- Minnesota does not require voters to present identification while voting. For more information about voter ID requirements in Minnesota, click here.
- Early voting runs from Sept. 23 through Nov. 7.
- The in-person voter registration deadline is Nov. 8. The deadline to register by mail or online is Oct. 18.
- There are no eligibility requirements to vote absentee in Minnesota. There is no specific deadline for applying for an absentee ballot. A completed ballot must be returned on or before Election Day for it to be counted. To check the status of your ballot, click here.
Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!