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Coleman Victory Would Renew Minnesota Tradition of Split-Ticket Voting

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If Norm Coleman is able to hold onto his narrow lead against Al Franken in the 2008 U.S. Senate recount that began on Wednesday, he would accomplish a feat that has not been seen in Minnesota since before World War II: no Republican since 1940 has been elected Senator from the Gopher State in a presidential election year in which a Democrat was sent to the White House.

In that year, 3-term GOP incumbent Henrik Shipstead cruised to a 27.3-point win while FDR won his third straight national victory. It has not happened since.

However, the battleground state of Minnesota is no stranger to split-ticket voting, and a Coleman victory would mark the 5th instance out of the last 6 times a Republican was elected Senator from Minnesota since 1936 in which the Gopher State cast its electoral ballots for a Democrat:

· In 1988, Minnesota elected Republican Dave Durenberger to the Senate for the third time, while Michael Dukakis carried the state by 7 points.
· In 1984, Republican Rudy Boschwitz was re-elected to a second term as Walter Mondale carried Minnesota by less than 4,000 votes.
· In 1940, GOPer Henrik Shipstead won a fourth term as FDR won the Gopher State by 3.8 points.
· In 1936’s special election, Republican Guy Howard won a competitive field of four candidates with a 42.9 percent plurality as FDR cruised to a 30.8-point re-election victory in Minnesota.

In 1952, the Republicans ran the table, with Dwight D. Eisenhower winning the state of Minnesota (by 11.2 points) and GOP Senator Edward Thye winning re-election (by 14.1 points). Republicans have carried both offices in Minnesota in only two other instances: 1924 (Thomas D. Schall and Calvin Coolidge) and 1916 (Frank B. Kellogg and Charles E. Hughes).

Democrats, however, have swept the U.S. Senate and presidential tickets within the state several times: in 1948 (Hubert Humphrey and Harry Truman), 1960 (Humphrey and John F. Kennedy), 1964 (Eugene McCarthy and Lyndon Johnson), 1976 (Humphrey and Jimmy Carter), 1996 (Paul Wellstone and Bill Clinton), and 2000 (Mark Dayton and Al Gore).

MN U.S. Senate and Presidential Elections, 1912-2008

Year
MN Senate
MN President
National President
2008
Republican (?)
Democrat
Democrat
2000
DFL
Democrat
Republican
1996
DFL
Democrat
Democrat
1988
Republican
Democrat
Republican
1984
Republican
Democrat
Republican
1976
DFL
Democrat
Democrat
1972
DFL
Republican
Republican
1964
DFL
Democrat
Democrat
1960
DFL
Democrat
Democrat
1952
Republican
Republican
Republican
1948
DFL
Democrat
Democrat
1940
Republican
Democrat
Democrat
1936 (special)
Republican
Democrat
Democrat
1936
Farmer-Labor
Democrat
Democrat
1928
Farmer-Labor
Republican
Republican
1924
Republican
Republican
Republican
1916
Republican
Republican
Democrat
1912
Republican
Progressive
Democrat

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Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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