Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


How Many Republicans Will Run for Minnesota's 6th CD in 2014?

Bookmark and Share

Less than 5 percent of the 208 Minnesota Republican U.S. House primaries over the last 50 years have fielded three or more candidates on the ballot (and only 7 percent of races without a GOP incumbent)

johnpederson10.jpgThe addition of Republican State Senator John Pederson to the Republican field to replace Michele Bachmann in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District now makes three candidates who have entered the race during the three weeks since the four-term Congresswoman announced her retirement at the end of the term.

Pederson's announcement that he was exploring a congressional bid follows those made by former State Representative and 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer and Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah.

With more candidates potentially poised to enter the field in the coming months, one wonders if the Republican 6th CD primary will end up being a congested free-for-all come August 2014.

Not likely.

Some candidates may drop out even before the party endorsement is handed out in the 6th CD next year as winners and losers emerge in the competitive fundraising battle.

Others will likely abide by the endorsement process and subsequently drop out after the endorsed candidate is selected. (Emmer has already made that pledge; Sivarajah has made no such commitment).

In fact, very few Republican primary contests in the last half-century have featured more than two candidates.

A Smart Politics review of the last 208 Republican U.S. House primary races conducted since 1962 finds that four candidates appeared on the ballot only twice and three candidates just eight times.

Nine of these primaries were races held in districts, like the 6th CD in 2014, without a Republican incumbent on the ballot, but the victor captured a win in the general election only two times.

· 1974, 8th CD (4 candidates): Primary won by Jerome Arnold, lost general.
· 1978, 1st CD (4 candidates): Arlen Erdahl, won general.
· 1980, 5th CD (3 candidates): John Doherty, lost general.
· 1984, 4th CD (3 candidates): Mary Jane Rachner, lost general.
· 1988, 1st CD (3 candidates): Curt Schrimpf, lost general.
· 1992, 1st CD (3 candidates): Timothy Droogsma, lost general.
· 1992, 4th CD (3 candidates): Ian Maitland, lost general.
· 1994, 1st CD (3 candidates): Gil Gutknecht, won general.
· 1994, 6th CD (3 candidates): Tad Jude, lost general.

The 10th primary with three or more candidates during this 50-year span was last year's 6th CD contest with incumbent Michele Bachmann.

Over these last 50 years, the Republican Party has fielded an average of 1.3 candidates per district during the primaries.

In the 127 primaries without a Republican incumbent on the ballot during this span the GOP has fielded an average of 1.4 candidates per district.

In the 81 primaries with an incumbent on the ballot Republicans have fielded an average of 1.2 candidates per district.

This dearth of competition in GOP congressional primaries from 1962 to 2012 lies in stark contrast to the previous 20 years.

During the 99 primaries from 1940 through 1960, Republicans averaged 2.1 candidates on the primary ballot.

Across these 11 cycles there were 25 GOP congressional primaries with at least three candidates on the ballot including the high water marks of:

· Nine candidates in the 9th CD race of 1940.
· Eight candidates in the 3rd CD race of 1944.
· Seven candidates in the 3rd CD race of 1956.
· Five candidates in the 9th CD race of 1942.
· Five candidates in the 3rd CD race of 1950.

The battered Republican primary winner emerged from each of these five contests only to lose the general election.

However, with 2012 6th CD DFL nominee Jim Graves abandoning his 2014 campaign shortly after Bachmann's retirement announcement at the end of May, Democrats have little hope of winning the Republican-tilted district, even if the GOP undergoes a bruising primary battle along the way.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: To Serve or Represent? Website Taglines of US Representatives
Next post: Smart Politics Google Reader Subscribers: Transition Reminder

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