Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Will 3rd Party Candidates Tilt MN 2008 Senate Race?

Bookmark and Share

As a recent SurveyUSA poll showed Norm Coleman's lead over both Al Franken and Mike Cerisi down to low single digits, the question emerges as to whether or not the introduction of a viable third party candidate in the race could influence the outcome.

In two of the past three Minnesota U.S. Senate races (2000, 2002), votes for third party candidates were greater than the margin of victory in the race. In fact, third party support in Senate races in Minnesota since 1996 is greater than any other of the dozen states in the Midwest.

Third party candidates have averaged 5.9 percent of the vote in the Gopher State, with Indiana coming in second at 4.2 percent. No other state averages even half the turnout for third party candidates than in Minnesota.

Minnesota also leads the Midwest in third party turnout for President (7.3 percent), U.S. House candidates (4.2 percent), and gubernatorial candidates (21.5 percent) since 1996.

The conventional wisdom is that third party candidates leaning to the left (Green, Independence) will hurt the DFL nominee more than right-leaning third party candidates (Constitution) will hurt the Republican nominee. Support for the former has been much stronger in Minnesota U.S. Senate elections than for the latter, but, in 2008, the strength of third party candidacies may hinge on whether Al Franken or Mike Ciresi is the DFL nominee. Franken—because he is a newcomer with a non-traditional political pedigree—may be more able to attract those voters who would normally abandon a major party nominee than Ciresi (a lawyer, though not a career politician by any means).

The third party factor could just be the slight edge Norm Coleman needs to retain his Senate seat for a second term.

Previous post: Midwestern GOP Senators Quick to Comment on Bush's Speech
Next post: DFL Prospects in Ramstad's 3rd CD Open Seat

3 Comments


  • Minnesota better start taking politics a little more seriously. You seem to think its funny to elect unqualified candidates

  • www.rcjorgensen2008.com
    Change is not Obama from Harvard nor Clinton from Yale, Bush's Almamater. If you want change rock the vote and elect the first write in Candidate! Write in RC Jorgensen this November. Justice served.

  • Served "General Indictment"
    to the White 3/29/2004 arrested and cuffed and stuffed with no lock on Handcuffs, cut wrists and was released. Bush and Cheney broke federal contracting laws giving no bid contracts to Haliburton.= Stealing!

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Kevin McCarthy Becomes Least Tenured Floor Leader in US House History

    At less than four terms, McCarthy has served 423 fewer days in the chamber than any floor leader in U.S. House history and almost 10 years less than the average leader.

    Political Crumbs

    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).


    How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

    Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


    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