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Two-Candidate Race a Rarity in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District

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The Minneapolis area congressional district had fielded 16 third party and independent U.S. House candidates over the last eight cycles, averaging 9 percent of the vote

keithellison10.jpgFor the first time in 18 years, voters in Minneapolis will only have two choices on their ballot for U.S. Representative.

Three-term DFL incumbent Keith Ellison is being challenged by Republican and Marine Corps veteran Chris Fields, without any third party or independent candidates filing this cycle.

The state's 5th CD had been Minnesota's hub for third party candidacies over the last two decades.

In 2010, three alternative party candidates combined to win 8.1 percent in the district - the largest number of candidates and highest cumulative percentage of non-DFL/GOP vote received throughout Minnesota's eight congressional districts.

From 1996 through 2010, 16 third party and independent candidates ran in the 5th CD averaging 8.9 percent of the vote, beginning with 7.0 percent in 1996, 5.4 percent in 1998, 8.0 percent in 2000, 7.0 percent in 2002, 5.7 percent in 2004, 23.0 percent in 2006, 6.9 percent in 2008, and 8.1 percent in 2010.

Only one other district in the state has reached double-digits in the number of independent and third party candidates during this span: the 4th CD with 13 such candidates.

The state's 8th CD is next with nine candidates from 1996-2010 followed by the 2nd CD with eight, the 6th CD with seven, the 1st CD with six, and the 3rd and 7th CDs with five each.

Only two candidates from outside the DFL and Republican parties will be on the ballot across the Gopher State's eight U.S. House contests this November - down from 13 two years ago.

Independence Party nominee Steve Carlson is running for a second consecutive cycle in the 4th Congressional District race against DFL incumbent Betty McCollum, while IPer Adam Steele is running in the 7th CD challenging DFLer Collin Peterson.

Minnesota's 5th CD has been under DFL control since the Election of 1962, when future Minneapolis Mayor Don Fraser narrowly defeated 10-term Republican Congressman Walter Judd by 3.7 points.

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Remains of the Data

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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.


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