Major Shifts Unlikely in Blue-Leaning Minnesota

— -- Despite hosting Sen. John McCain's August nominating convention, Sen. Barack Obama is favored to win Minnesota in November -- the state has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in the last eight presidential elections.

The state's red and blue pockets are distinct. McCain kept the Gopher State in the headlines amid intense speculation that early supporter and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty would be tapped for the second spot on his presidential ticket, though McCain ultimately chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney was the big Republican winner on Super Tuesday in Minnesota with 41 percent of the vote, McCain came in second with 22 percent.

Obama counts Minnesota among his Super Tuesday wins. The state's caucuses awarded him 58 delegates after he captured 66 percent of the vote.

There are likely not to be shifts in Minnesota's established red and blue political pockets across the state map, though the purple areas surrounding them leave room for fluctuation.

The presidential race isn't the only politics in the Minnesota spotlight: Sen. Norm Coleman, the Republican incumbent, faces a Democratic challenge to his seat in former Saturday Night Live cast member Al Franken.