Peterson fought off state Sen. Torrey Westrom "in a race too close to call until well after midnight," Allison Sherry reports for the Star Tribune. "In the Seventh District, which hugs the state’s western flank down the North and South Dakota borders, the district has swayed more red than blue in other contests: Voters reliably prefer the Republican nominee for president and governor but keep sending Peterson, who votes with the Democrats only 68 percent of the time, back to Washington."
In a state where the coal business has been depleted, Rep. Rahall, "who represents the reddest district of any House Democrat, touted his seniority in Congress and his independence from party leadership," Tarini Parti reports for Politico. "The incumbent has defied political calculus and served in Congress for more than three decades in a district former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won by 33 points."
But tides turned during this year's election. Rahall only received 45 percent of the vote, while challenger Evan Jenkins received 55 percent of the vote, Parti writes. "Republicans repeatedly tied Rahall to President Barack Obama and the administration’s energy policies, which are highly unpopular in the coal-friendly state. They flooded the airwaves attacking Rahall for going against the interests of the district." While Democrats said that wouldn't be an issue in the race, Rahall, who voted in favor of federal health reform, was soundly defeated. (Read more)