Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Where Have All the 3rd Party Minnesota Candidates Gone?

Bookmark and Share

In recent years Minnesota has lead all Upper Midwestern states with the highest percentage of successful third party campaigns in state legislative races. While third party candidates still have a significant presence in the Gopher state (especially in state-wide elections), the number of third party candidates in Minnesota's 2006 state legislative races is now trending downwards.

In 2002, nearly one-third of state Senate districts (21) had third-party candidates garner at least 2 percent of the vote in the general election—sometimes impacting the outcome of the election. In 2006, however, there will only be 9 third-party Senate candidates on the ballot: 7 Independence Party candidates, 1 Green Party candidate, and 1 independent candidate.

Third parties have also traditionally played a major part in Minnesota state House elections. In 2004, 30 third party or independent candidacies garnered 2% or more of the general election vote. There were 42 such successful third-party and independent candidacies in 2002, 32 in 2000, and 18 in 1998. In 2006, however, only 10 House district races boast third party candidates: 9 with candidates from the Independence Party and 1 with an independent candidate.

The Jesse Ventura years clearly gave third party candidates a boost in Minnesota, but the clock may now be running on the half-life of this legacy.

Previous post: Immigration: The Invisible Issue in the MN US Senate Race?
Next post: Will Wisconsin End Unprecedented 153-Year Ban on Death Penalty?

1 Comment


  • Eric,

    I appreciate your bringing attention to independent candidates for state legislature in 2006. As the one third party candidate who is not affiliated with the Independence party, attention has been hard to come by.

    You wouldn't happen to have any information about how these candidates are doing, would you?

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

    Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

    Political Crumbs

    No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

    Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


    The Second Time Around

    Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting