Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


U.S. Senate Race Ends Up 12 Votes Shy of '62 Gubernatorial Margin of Victory Record

Bookmark and Share

With the final results (court challenge pending) certified by the State Canvassing Board on Monday finding Al Franken with a 225-vote victory over Norm Coleman, the 2008 U.S. Senate race nearly eclipsed the 1962 gubernatorial election as the closest high-profile statewide election in Gopher State history.

For 46 years and counting, the 1962 gubernatorial contest has held the record as the narrowest margin of victory among presidential, gubernatorial, and U.S. Senate elections in Minnesota. That race's 91-vote difference, in which DFLer Karl Rolvagg defeated 1-term Republican incumbent Elmer L. Andersen, had a margin of victory of 7.2985 thousandths of a percent (.000072985).

While the 2008 Senate race was decided by 134 more votes, some 2.92+ million Minnesotans cast their ballots, compared to just 1.24+ million in 1962. As such, the margin of victory in the 2008 Senate race just missed setting a new record with a margin of victory of 7.7022 thousandths of a percent (.000077022).

Had Franken defeated Coleman by just 12 fewer votes (213), the margin of victory would have been 7.2793 thousandths of a percent - and become a new state record in elections for these high profile offices.

The net result is that the 1962 gubernatorial election was 4.037 ten-thousandths of a percentage point more tightly decided than the 2008 Senate contest.

Prior to 1962, the closest presidential, gubernatorial, or U.S. Senate race was the 1916 presidential election, in which Republican Charles E. Hughes defeated Democrat Woodrow Wilson in the Gopher State by 392 votes with a margin of victory of 1.0119 tenths of a percent (.0010119).

Margin of Victory Difference in Minnesota 1962 Gubernatorial and 2008 U.S. Senate Races

Election
Vote difference
Total votes
MoV (percent)
1962 Gubernatorial
91
1,246,827
.0072985
2008 U.S. Senate
225
2,921,211
.0077022
Difference
134
1,674,384
.0004037



Previous post: How Opposed Are Minnesotans To Tax Increases?
Next post: How to Save Minnesota's U.S. House Seat: More Teenage Mothers?

Leave a comment


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.


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