The midterm election in Minnesota saw a lot of incumbents get re-elected, but it wasn't without some surprises. At a precinct level, the nuance of voting patterns is more complicated than blue vs. red.

Attorney general race

While Gov. Tim Walz won re-election by nearly 8 percentage points, his DFL colleague Attorney General Keith Ellison won by less than 1 percentage point.

Precinct-level results in the attorney general's race show that, like Walz and other DFL candidates, Ellison did best in the core of the Twin Cities metro area and in cities like Duluth, Rochester and Mankato.

Looking at the results county-by-county, Walz outperformed Ellison by at least 1 percentage point in 37 of the 87 counties. This is particularly noticeable in Washington and Dakota counties, suburban areas where Ellison's share of the vote came in about 3 percentage points lower. Even in DFL stronghold Hennepin County, Ellison had about 16,000 fewer votes than Walz.

Despite these lagging votes, Ellison still bested his opponent, Republican Jim Schultz, in almost all the same counties that Walz won. The exceptions were Carlton and Rice counties, which had among the narrowest margins for Walz.

Second Congressional District

Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig won re-election in one of the most closely watched congressional races in the nation. She got 51% of the vote, well ahead of her Republican opponent, Tyler Kistner.

Her district, on the southern edge of the Twin Cities metro area, shows the divided nature of the suburbs. The bulk of her support came in the suburbs closest to the metro's core, as well as college town Northfield.

Kistner did well in the small towns, such as Belle Plaine, Montgomery and Lonsdale, capturing as much as 75% of the vote in some.

Hennepin County Attorney

Former chief public defender Mary Moriarty handily won the race for Hennepin County Attorney, beating retired Judge Martha Holton Dimick. Moriarty generally did well throughout the county and had especially strong margins in Minneapolis. Dimick did well in Minneapolis' Kenwood neighborhood, Edina and affluent cities around Lake Minnetonka.

Minnesota Senate District 41

This district, which wraps around the eastern edge of the Twin Cities metro area, is one of two Senate seats too close to call as of this writing. Even before the election, this seat was expected to be a close one. DFL candidate Judy Seeberger, with 50.4% of the vote, is just slightly ahead of Republican Tom Dippel, with 49.6%, for this open seat.

Precinct-level voting results show Seeberger did best in the more populated areas, such as Afton, Cottage Grove, Lake Elmo and part of Hastings. Dippel had stronger support in the outlying areas.

House District 41A is also too close to call. Republican Mark Wiens has 50.3% of the vote and his opponent, DFL candidate Pat Driscoll has 49.7%. In neighboring House District 41B, Republican Shane Hudella narrowly defeated DFL candidate Tina Folch by just over 2 percentage points.

Minnesota House District 3B

In northern Minnesota, DFL Rep. Mary Murphy — first elected in 1976 — is poised to be unseated by Republican Natalie Zeleznikar in a race that seemingly hinges on 35 votes, according to unofficial results.

Across the district, which includes part of Duluth and the area just north, the vote margins were slim nearly everywhere. Murphy did well in Duluth, Proctor and Two Harbors, while Zeleznikar did better in the townships. In one precinct, each candidate got 119 votes.

Neighboring House District 3A is also too close to call and features the closest vote margin of any Minnesota legislative race. Republican Roger Skraba is just 15 votes ahead of incumbent DFLer Rob Ecklund, with all precincts reporting. The tight margins mean the candidates in either of these races will be able to request a publicly funded recount.