A crack in Omar’s armor? Tuesday’s 5th District DFL primary in charts

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Rep. Ilhanomar won a third term as Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District representative after narrowly defeating Don Samuels (by 2.2 percentage point) in the DFL primary.


Omar, a Republican in a heavily Democratic district, is certain to win the November election against Republican Cicely, who won a small GOP primary field Tuesday evening.


Some pundits speculate that Omar may have slipped in her armor during the close DFL primary race. Omar won easily in both 2018 and 2020 primaries due to large turnout in Minneapolis which is the majority of the district.


Take a look at the votes from Tuesday and see how they compare with years past.


Minneapolis margin


Samuels was able to reduce Omar’s advantage in Minneapolis, compared to other DFL primaries.

Omar defeated Antone Melton–Meaux by 19.7 percentage points in 2020. Omar’s victory was almost entirely due in large part to Minneapolis, the home of the majority of 5th District votes.


Omar won nearly two-to-one in Minneapolis over MeltonMeaux and also received more votes than her opponent in many of the suburbs.

2020 5th Congressional District DFL Primary Results by City
Notification: Results available as of Aug. 12, 2020
Source: Minnesota Secretary Of State

In 2018, Omar’s Minneapolis advantage was very similar to when she first ran for the position. However, the field only had three major candidates going into Election Day: former state senator Patricia Torres Ray, and Margaret Anderson Kelliher, former Minnesota House Speaker. Omar received 48.2 percent, Torres Ray’s 30.4% and Omar’s 13% votes.

Results of the 2018 5th Congressional District DFL Primary Results by City
Notification: Results as of August 16, 2018.
Source: Minnesota Secretary Of State

MinnPost photo by Bill Kelley
Don Samuels was able to reduce Omar’s advantage in Minneapolis, compared to other DFL primaries.


Omar received only 1.3 votes for each Samuels vote in Minneapolis. Samuels received more votes in the suburbs than Omar, and by larger margins than Melton-Meaux in 2020.

2022 5th Congressional District DFL Primary Results by City
Notice: Results as of August 10, at 8:30 a.m.
Source: Minnesota Secretary Of State


Overall Turnout lower


It is worth noting that the overall turnout for the 5th District DFL Primary was lower than in 2018 and 2020. (caveat: redistricting has shaped the district a bit differently).


It could be due to a variety of reasons, including news events or what was on the ballot. The 5th District DFL Primary saw 135,300 votes cast, and it also featured big races for the U.S. Senate primary. There was a lot going on in 2020: the pandemic was high, voting by mail numbers were high, and the election took place after George Floyd’s murder by the Minneapolis Police. Nearly 178,000 voters participated in the CD5 DFL primaries that year.


The numbers for this year were significantly lower at less than 115,000

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