Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Presence and Impact of Third Party Candidates in MN House Races Declining

Bookmark and Share

For a number of years State House races in Minnesota were peppered with a significant number of third party or independent candidates. In 2006, however, the presence of these non-major party candidates was the lowest in a decade.

In 1998 there were 18 non-major party candidates on the ballot in State House races, averaging 9.0% of the vote in districts in which they were on the ballot.

In 2000 there were 32 such candidates, averaging 9.8% of the vote.

The 2002 election saw a record number of third party candidates—43—though the average support dropped a bit to 8.7%.

In 2004 there were 30 third party or independent candidates on the ballot, averaging 8.2% of the vote.

In 2006 there were only 11 non-major party candidates in State House races. Their impact was also at a decade-long low: averaging just 6.6% of the vote.

Why is Minnesota witnessing a decline in third parties? The strength of the state's Independence Party is the likely target of debate—although that party did field several candidates in statewide and federal races. Other possible explanations could be the Minnesota voter today sees a bigger difference between the Republicans and the DFL—thereby creating less of a need or groundswell for third-party candidates to emerge in a particular district. The Independence Party itself also could be seen as more closely aligned to the DFL in 2006 as compared to six or eight years ago—with democrats claiming to advance a more fiscally responsible agenda.

Previous post: Minnesota State Legislative Recount Update
Next post: Upper Midwest Leads the Nation in 2006 Voter Turnout

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


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