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Ratings Change: Minnesota’s 2nd District

Kline is a Republican from Minnesota. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Kline is a Republican from Minnesota. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., was re-elected in 2012 with less than 55 percent in a district that Barack Obama won twice, making him an initial Democratic target.  

But it’s safe to say that the race in Minnesota’s 2nd District hasn’t developed as quickly as some Democratic strategists would have liked. Last cycle, Kline defeated Democrat Mike Obermueller, 54 percent to 46 percent, while Obama carried the district by the narrowest of margins, 49.1 percent to 49 percent, over Mitt Romney. Obama won the district 51 percent to 48 percent in 2008.  

Obermueller is running again, and House Majority PAC, the go-to outside group on the Democratic side for House races, identified Kline as one of its top 10 targets for 2014 . But this not likely to be nearly as good of an election cycle for Democrats, and Obermueller’s campaign appears to be slower in ramping up.  

Through the end of the year, Obermueller had just $204,000 in the bank, compared to $1.6 million for the GOP incumbent. First-quarter fundraising reports are due Tuesday to the Federal Election Commission.  

Unless the House Majority PAC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee decide to spend a couple million dollars to pull Obermueller toward the finish line, it doesn’t look like this seat will be in play this fall.  

We’re changing the Rothenberg Political Report /Roll Call rating of the race from Republican Favored to Safe Republican .

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