Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Mike Parry Fends Off Critics, Engbrecht, and Srp to Hold 26th Senate District for GOP

Bookmark and Share

Tri-County District split support among the three candidates; Roy Srp turns in best State Senate performance for IP since 2002

Voters in the Gopher State's 26th Senate District reaffirmed their conservative credentials on Tuesday by reelecting a Republican to fill the seat vacated by 6-term Republican Dick Day.

Republican, former Waseca City Council member, and Democratic lightning rod Mike Parry won with a plurality of 43.0 percent, followed by St. Olaf physics professor Jason Engbrecht with 36.5 percent, and 20.3 percent for Independence Party nominee and 3-term Waseca Mayor Roy Srp.

Parry, who received endorsements by Day, GOP U.S. Representatives Michele Bachmann and John Kline, as well as Governor Tim Pawlenty, won by over 750 votes despite being made a target by Democrats for controversial posts made on his Twitter account prior to his candidacy.

The vote, however, reflects the trend of the 26th District, as reported at Smart Politics last week, which has consistently voted more Republican than the Gopher State overall since redistricting in 2002 - frequently by double-digit margins.

The DFL had hoped that its moderate success in winning State House races in the 26th District (notching a 4-4 record since 2002 and currently holding both seats in St. Paul) could translate into a pick-up on Tuesday to give the DFL 47 seats for the first time since the 1986 election.

However, a Smart Politics analysis published Tuesday morning revealed that the GOP has far outperformed its DFL opponents in special State Senate elections since partisan ballots began in 1974 - winning 61 percent of such contests and picking up 13 seats compared to just 4 for the DFL. (With each of the DFL pickups coming with the Democratic tsunamis during 2005 to 2008).

Although the 26th District is not divided equally in the tri-county region, each of the three candidates carried a county Tuesday.

· Parry carried a plurality of Steele County's (Owatonna) vote with 46.0 percent, with Engbrecht at 35.1 percent and Srp at 18.7 percent. Steele County accounted for 47.3 percent of all the votes in the District, although it had the lowest average voter turnout with 209 voters per precinct.

· Engbrecht carried a plurality of Rice County's (Faribault) vote by 46 votes over Parry. Engbrecht won 47.1 percent with Parry at 45.8 percent and Srp at just 7.0 percent. Rice County comprised 32.8 percent of the vote on Tuesday, and had the highest average voter turnout with 290 voters per precinct.

· A plurality of Waseca County voters cast its ballots for Srp, the City of Waseca's mayor, with 46.2 percent of the vote, followed by Parry at 31.3 percent and Engbrecht at 22.5 percent. Waseca County voters made up 19.9 percent of the voting electorate in this special election, and averaged 286 voters per precinct.

To Srp's credit, his performance on Tuesday was the Independence Party's best showing in a State Senate election since 2002 and the 4th best showing since 2000 when the IP bolted from the national Reform Party.

In the 2006 general election, the best showing by an IP candidate in a Senate race was 17.8 percent, by Kevin Kelleher.

The three candidates who turned in better performances than Srp in 2002 were Sheila Kiscaden in District 30 (at 41.6 percent, winning the race), Sherry Butcher in District 42 (at 30.1 percent), and Tom Norman in District 6 (at 27.4 percent, but in a two-candidate race won by DFLer Tom Bakk).

As Smart Politics reported last week, the 26th District has showed strong support for the Independence Party over the past decade.

Parry will be up for reelection in November along with the other 66 Senate districts in the Gopher State.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: GOP Has Historically Thrived in Minnesota State Senate Special Elections
Next post: A Content Analysis of President Obama's 2010 State of the Union Address

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