In 2010, a total of 29 candidates ran across Minnesota's eight congressional districts - good for the seventh highest per district average in the history of the state (at 3.63 candidates) across the 78 general cycles dating back to 1857. That number appears to have declined significantly with just 18 DFL, GOP, and Independence Party slots across the eight districts according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's website. The largest candidate-to-district ratio occurred in 2000 when 35 candidates ran for the Gopher State's eight U.S. House seats, or 4.38 candidates per district, followed by the Elections of 1880 (4.33), 1892 and 1992 (4.00), 1894 (3.86), and 1934 (3.67). The last time a major party failed to field a candidate in a Minnesota U.S. House race was 1976 when DFLer Jim Oberstar ran without opposition.
The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.
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).
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