Professor: Primary between Rep. Omar and Samuels is local race to watch in midterm elections

Voters are days away from heading to the polls to cast their ballots in this year's midterm elections, and that means this weekend is one of Hamline University political science professor David Schultz’s favorite times of the year, because so much is on the line for candidates across the state.

"At the end of the day, people forget that elections have consequences, elections translate into public policy, public policy translates into how to it effects our lives," Professor Schultz said.

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Schultz says turnout is typically lower for August primary elections, especially in a non-presidential election year. He’s predicting around 30% to 40% turnout; and that is important, because he says those who do show up will likely be more hardcore party activists, which can often benefit the endorsed party candidate.

"If I was going to make any prediction at this point, I would say the incumbent and the party endorsed candidates probably are going to win," Professor Schultz said.

Of all the races, his focus is on the Fifth Congressional District primary between Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and challenger Don Samuels.

"This is probably attracting not just local but national attention," Professor Schultz said. "If I’m looking for any sleeper, any kind of a sleeper race, maybe it’s Samuels upsetting Omar, although it’s a longshot."

Behind the candidates, he says the most important issues driving the election are inflation, law & order, and abortion.

"The primary is kind of showcasing the issues for the general election," Professor Schultz said.

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