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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

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

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).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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