Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Third Parties Vanish from Minnesota's 2012 US House Races

Bookmark and Share

There are 11 fewer independent and third party candidates running for Minnesota's eight congressional seats in 2012 compared to two years ago

minnesotaseal10.jpgAlthough Minnesota has a reputation for embracing third parties, that reputation has taken a bit of a step back in the Gopher State's congressional races this November.

After fielding 13 third party and independent candidates in the 2010 cycle for the state's eight U.S. House contests, just two are running this year according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's office.

That marks the fewest number of non-major party candidates running in Minnesota for its U.S. House seats since 1990 when no third party or independent candidates appeared on the ballot. (Two such candidates also appeared on the ballot in 1994).

The two candidates running in 2012 are both from the Independence Party.

Steve Carlson is seeking a rematch in the 4th Congressional District race against DFL incumbent Betty McCollum, while Adam Steele is running in the 7th CD challenging DFLer Collin Peterson.

Carlson received 6.1 percent of the vote in 2010 in a race that held McCollum to under 60 percent for just the second time in her congressional career.

In 2010, the Independence Party ran candidates in seven districts - up from four in 2008, three in 2004 and 2006, and one in 2002.

The 13 third party and independent candidates on the ballot in 2010 was the third largest number since the end of Franklin Roosevelt's first term during the Great Depression.

Since 1936, the only two cycles in which more non-major party candidates ran for U.S. House seats in Minnesota was 1992 (with 16 candidates) and 2000 (14).

In other sobering third party news:

· After running eight candidates in the 1998 and 2000 cycles the Libertarian Party has not appeared in a U.S. House contest since.

· The Constitution Party ran candidates in six districts in 2000 but has only fielded two candidates across the last five cycles.

· The Green Party has not fielded a candidate in a U.S. House race in the state since 2006.

When Minnesotans found 16 non-major party candidates running for the house in 1992 there were four independents, three each from the Grass Roots and Natural Law parties, two Socialist Workers, and one each from New Alliance, Term Limits, Independents for Perot, and Perot Choice.

In 1934, there were also 16 such candidates: nine Farmer-Laborites, four communists, two independents, and one socialist.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Michelle Obama's DNC Speech Written at 7 Grade Levels Above Ann Romney's
Next post: Battleground State Maps Expand Slightly from a Month Ago

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

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.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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