A snapshot of Minnesota


The DFL held a news conference today to tout the diversity of its delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Denver next week. And, no question about it, it’s diverse.

“It’s one of the most diverse delegations in the country,” said delegate David Gilbert-Pederson, 17. That’s him standing on the far left in the picture above, next to Sen. Patricia Ray Torres, a Latina, who’s standing next to Minneapolis City Council member Robert Lilligren who is a gay Native American, who is standing next to Dr. Josie Johnson, an African American from Minneapolis, who’s standing next to Shanti Shah, an Indian American from Eden Prairie. Former DFL Party chair Rick Stafford, who is gay, is shown speaking and Sen. Mee Moua, who is Hmong, hosted the event. Sam Scott of Andover (profiled here earlier) is, obviously, white, but he’s also young and is a vet of the Iraqi War.

You get the picture, but is it a picture of Minnesota? “It’s a good picture of the state of Minnesota,” Gilbert-Pederson said.Several speakers noted the Minnesota stereotype; we’re pretty white and the DFL delegation is meant to explode that stereotype.

But the statistics don’t lie. Minnesota as a state is very white. The DFL delegation is not.

Here’s a comparison of the delegation vs. the latest census data for the state.

Demographic Minnesota Metro Area Outstate DFL delegation
White 89.4% 85.7% 95.1% 66%
African American 5.1% 7.5% 1.4% 23%
Asian 3.8% 5.5% 1.3% 9.1%
American Indian 1.6% 1.1% 2.4% 5.5%
Hispanic 3.8% 4.4% 2.7% 6.4%

Stafford took a shot at Republicans during his remarks. He said the appearance of the DFL delegation in Denver will “contrast with what you see a week later” at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

“What do you mean by that?” MPR’s Curtis Gilbert asked.

“White,” he said.

(h/t: Betsy Cole, MPR researcher)