In the state senate district where I reside, the GOP candidate in the special election, Jim Abeler, won handily with 74% of the vote. Democrat Roger Johnson finished with 22% while the Legal Marijuana Now (yes, that really is the name of a political party here) candidate got 4%. None of that was a surprise in what is a solid red SD.
On the other end of the Metro area, a special MN House election took place in House District 50B (Southeast Bloomington), a district where Gov. Mark Dayton won by double digits in 2014 and President Barack Obama emerged victorious by a similar margin in 2012. But in this race, GOP candidate Chad Anderson edged DFLer Andrew Carlson by 2.5%! Granted this is only a special election and the seat will be up again in November, but this proves that all bets are off in circumstances like this (looking at you, 46A!). From what I've been told, this gives the GOP their largest House majority in about 10 years. Again, it's only for this one legislative session (which begins next month), but it feels good for Republicans to pick up a seat in Hennepin County once in a while.
Nationally, the winners in the presidential primaries (Donald Trump for the GOP, Bernie Sanders for the Dems) were as expected. However, the significant margins of victory were certainly eye opening. On the Republican side, Trump finished nearly 19 points ahead of John Kasich. But the most interesting story lines were found in slots 3-4-5. Despite spending oodles of time and money in New Hampshire, Jeb Bush looks to have finished fourth. That's bad enough, but it's even worse when you consider he outspent 3rd place finisher Ted Cruz by about $44 to $1 in NH. And as expected, Marco Rubio's poor debate performance Saturday came back to haunt him as he finished 5th. But the guy largely responsible for wounding Rubio, Chris Christie, finished 6th and thus is not even eligible to participate in the next debate. After such a disappointing finish, Christie stated he's heading back to New Jersey to assess his campaign. This seems to be a precursor to his dropping out this week. Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson (who finished with 4% and 2%, respectively) need to follow suit.
On the Dem side, Sanders scored a 20 point over Hillary Clinton. Seems rather ironic that an avowed socialist can post that kind of result in a state whose motto is "Live Free or Die." While it's fun to see the Shrill Hill campaign in chaos, she'll likely rebound with a resounding victory in South Carolina on February 27.