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

Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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