Photos: Campaign 2012 in Minnesota

Politics

1 The 2012 elections are, in many ways, a referendum on President Barack Obama's last four years in office. Here, a home on Clearwater Road in St. Cloud displays signs aimed critically at the president, and also supporting the proposed voter ID and marriage amendments and the on Oct. 11, 2012. 
2 He tried in vain to move from the Minnesota governor's office to the White House, but former GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty fell by the wayside during primary season. Here, he takes the stage to back his former rival, Mitt Romney, for the nomination during the third day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. 
3 Like Pawlenty for the Republicans, DFL Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak also took a turn in the national spotlight, if briefly, during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. 
4 Michele Bachmann, the outspoken Republican congresswoman from the 6th District, also made a failed run for the GOP presidential nomination. Returning home, she faced Democratic businessman Jim Graves in her quest for re-election to the U.S. House. Here, she gestures while debating Graves Oct. 30 in St. Cloud. 
5 Thanks to her presidential ambitions and her often controversial statement, Bachmann's re-election bid has drawn national attention. Here, she talks with her associates while waiting to debate Jim Graves Nov. 1 at Minnesota Public Radio. 
6 Jim Graves in a lighter moment before his broadcast debate Nov. 1 with Republican incumbent Rep. Michele Bachmann at Minnesota Public Radio. 
7 Campaigning for Minnesota Democrats, former President Bill Clinton greeted the crowd after concluding his remarks at the University of Minnesota Duluth Kirby Student Center Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Duluth, Minn. 
8 U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack speaks at Road Machinery and Supplies Co. near downtown Duluth, Minn. Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 during a rally by loggers protesting federal weight restrictions on the interstate highway system. Cravaack is in a tight race for re-election in a district the Democrats think they can win back this year. He faces former DFL Rep. Rick Nolan. 
9 Rick Nolan thanks his supporters after winning the Democratic primary election, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, at the Sunshine Kitchen and Moonshine Lounge in Brainerd. He'll face one-term incumbent GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack. 
10 A Chip Cravaack supporter listens intently to the debate between Cravaack and Democratic challenger Rick Nolan Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at the Duluth Playhouse in Duluth, Minn. 
11 Chip Cravaack and Rick Nolan shake hands after a debate at Anoka Ramsey Community College in Cambridge, Minn. Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012. It was the third debate between the 8th Congressional District candidates. 
12 U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar addresses supporters Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 during a campaign stop with U.S. Rep. Tim Walz and other local Democratic politicians Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 at Daube's Bakery in Rochester, Minn. Polls show Klobuchar leads her Republican opponent Kurt Bills by a wide margin heading into Election Day. 
13 Kurt Bills checks his phone for messages after a rally with supporters in Ham Lake on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. While on the campaign trail, Bills travels in one of three old, blue school buses. This one is named Constitution. The other two are Freedom and Liberty. 
14 There are two proposed amendments to the state constitution on the Minnesota ballot this year. One would ban same-sex marriage, the other would require voters to show official government photo ID at the polls. Here, a young member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Grand Rapids held a sign with the name of Mississippi, one of the states that have already passed marriage amendments, during a march in October. 
15 People who oppose the marriage amendment gather for a rally Monday night, Oct. 29, 2012 on Northrup Plaza at the University of Minnesota. The event was sponsored by Minnesotans United for All Families. 
16 From left, Rev. Jerry McAfee of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church; Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage; MPR's Kerri Miller, Bishop Gene Robinson, Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire; and Sarah Walker, board member of Minnesotans United for All Families debate the proposed amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman Nov. 1, 2012, at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minn.