The Minnesota Historical Election Archive hosts historical election results for 134 election cycles in Minnesota.
Choose a cycle below to view more details about the elections that took place during that cycle.
|1857||This election was conducted approximately seven months prior to statehood on May 11, 1858.
Democrats swept all statewide offices at the ballot box: Governor (Henry Sibley), Lieutenant Governor (William Holcombe), Secretary of State (Francis Baasen), Auditor (William Dunbar), Attorney General (Charles Berry), Treasurer (George Armstrong), Clerk of the Supreme Court (Jacob Noah), and both at-large U.S. House seats (W.W. Phelps and James Cavanaugh). Democrats would not win another statewide election until 1873 (Treasurer Edwin Dyke) and only two others before the turn of the century (Auditor Adolph Biermann on the Democratic-Alliance ticket in 1890 and Governor John Lind in 1898 on the Democratic-People's ticket).
At this point in state history, elections for the Supreme Court were nonpartisan with a Chief Justice (Lafayette Emmett) and two Associate Justices (Isaac Atwater and Charles Flandrau). Until the early 1880s, elections for Auditor and Supreme Court clerk would be held every three years with elections for other constitutional offices held every two (odd-numbered) years.
In December 1857 the state legisalture elected Henry Rice and James Shields to the U.S. Senate.
There were 26 districts drawn for the First Legislature totaling 37 Senate seats and 80 House seats. The number of senators in a district ranged from one to three and the number of representatives from one to six.
|1859||After being shut-out in statewide races in the Election of 1857, Republicans came back to sweep them all in November 1859 led by gubernatorial nominee Alexander Ramsey on the top of the ticket. The Republicans won elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor (Ignatius Donnelly), Secretary of State (James Baker), and Attorney General (Gordon Cole) were decided by single digits with Charles Scheffer winning his first of three terms for Treasurer by 10 points. Republicans also won the first of 10 consecutive elections to the U.S. House.
In December, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator James Shields lost his seat when the state legislature elected former Minnesota Territorial Governor and Republican nominee Morton Wilkinson.
|1860||Minnesotans got their first chance to vote in a presidential election and backed Abraham Lincoln by 29 points in the first of 13 consecutive wins by the Republican Party. Republicans also won back the offices of Auditor (Charles McIlrath) and Clerk of the Supreme Court (A.J. Van Vorhes) by nearly as large margins and swept both at-large U.S. House seats for the second consecutive cycle.
The Apportionment of 1860 reduced the number of senators from 37 to 21 and the number of representatives from 80 to 42. There were 21 senate districts eliminating multi-member districts for the upper legislative chamber.
|1861||Governor Alexander Ramsey, Lieutenant Governor Ignatius Donnelly, Secretary of State James Baker, Attorney General Gordon Cole, and Treasurer Charles Scheffer all won reelection by north of 20 points giving the Republican Party back-to-back sweeps of these constitutional offices.|
|1862||This was the first election in which the state’s U.S. House delegation was elected in districts instead of at-large. Republicans swept both seats with William Windom winning election to his third term in the newly created 1st Congressional District and two-term Lieutenant Governor Ignatius Donnelly capturing the 2nd CD. Donnelly would resign his post in St. Paul in March 1863 at the convening of the 38th Congress.|
|1863||In January, the state legislature elected former Pennsylvania U.S. Representative, Minnesota Territorial Governor, St. Paul Mayor, and sitting Republican Governor Alexander Ramsey to the U.S. Senate.
In November, Republicans swept all seven statewide offices for Governor (Stephen Miller), Lieutenant Governor (Charles Sherwood), Secretary of State (David Blakely), Auditor (Charles McIlrath), Treasurer (Charles Scheffer), Attorney General (Gordon Cole), and Clerk of the Supreme Court (George Potter) – each by more than 20 points. Scheffer and Cole won their third terms while McIlrath was elected to his second.
|1864||Abraham Lincoln carried Minnesota by a narrower margin than in 1860 (18.1 versus 29.2 points) but it was the president’s fourth most decisive win in the nine-state Midwest region behind Kansas (61.4 points), Missouri (39.4 points), and Iowa (28.2 points).
Down the ballot, Republicans William Windom and Ignatius Donnelly won their fourth and second terms to the U.S. House respectively.
Appointed Chief Justice Thomas Wilson, appointed Associate Justice S.J.R. McMillan, and state Senator J.M. Berry won election to the Supreme Court.
|1865||In January 1865, the state legislature elected Winona state Senator Daniel Norton to the U.S. Senate.
In November, Minnesotans elected their third different Governor in three cycles (Republican William Marshall) and the GOP also won each of the remaining constitutional offices on the ballot: Lieutenant Governor (Thomas Armstrong), Secretary of State (Henry Rogers), Attorney General (William Colville), and Treasurer (Charles Scheffer). Democratic nominees were more competitive this cycle, losing by between 11 and 14 points compared to 21+ points for these five offices two years prior.
|1866||Republican Auditor Charles McIlrath was reelected to a third term and GOPer Sherwood Hough won his first of three terms as Clerk of the Supreme Court. Both nominees won by more than two-dozen points. Republicans William Windom and Ignatius Donnelly were reelected to their fifth and third terms to the U.S. House respectively.
The Apportionment of 1866 increased the number of state Senate districts from 21 to 22 and House districts from 42 to 47.
|1867||For the fifth consecutive cycle, Minnesota Democrats were swept in the constitutional offices for Governor (William Marshall), Lieutenant Governor (Thomas Armstrong), Secretary of State (Henry Rogers), Attorney General (Francis Cornell), and Treasurer (Emil Munch). However, Democratic nominees were able to come within single digits of victory in four of these – all but Secretary of State, where Henry Rogers was reelected to a second term by 11.6 points. Governor Marshall and Lieutenant Governor Armstrong were also reelected to second terms this cycle.|
|1868||En route to sweeping the Midwest, Ulysses Grant carried Minnesota with a 21.7-point victory – his fourth best showing in the 10-state region behind Kansas (37.7 points), Nebraska (27.8 points), and Iowa (23.8 points). For the first time since the Election of 1857, however, Democrats won a U.S. House seat (Eugene Wilson in the 2nd CD) due to a divided GOP vote between incumbent Ignatius Donnelly (who ran as an Independent Republican) and nominee Christopher Andrews.|
|1869||In January, Republican U.S. Senator Alexander Ramsey was reelected to a second term by the state legislature.
Democrats failed to win any of the seven statewide offices on the ballot this cycle – but came very close in the race for Governor, where former state legislator George Otis lost by just 3.6 points to Sixth Judicial District Judge Horace Austin. Republicans each won the remaining six offices by at least nine points: for Lieutenant Governor (W.H. Yale), Secretary of State (Hans Mattson), Auditor (Charles McIlrath), Attorney General (Francis Cornell), Treasurer (Emil Munch), and Clerk of the Supreme Court (Sherwood Hough). Auditor McIlrath won his fourth and final term.
The 1869 cycle also marked the first time a bonafide third party ran a slate – the Temperance Party (later known as the Prohibition Party). There were Temperance Party nominees for all seven statewide races with the best showing coming from its gubernatorial nominee – Methodist minister Daniel Cobb with 3.2 percent.
Brownsville attorney Charles Ripley was elected Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
|1870||Democrats were unable to hold their 2nd CD seat and, for the second consecutive cycle, an all-new U.S. House delegation was elected to represent Minnesota in D.C. Republicans maintained majorities in both legislative chambers for the 13th Legislature: 13 to 9 in the Senate and 32 to 15 in the House.|
|1871||In January, the state legislature elected two Republicans to the U.S. Senate: former Rochester Mayor Ozora P. (O.P.) Stearns in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Daniel Norton and appointed U.S. Senator William Windom for the full term.
In November, Republicans swept the races for Governor (Horace Austin), Lieutenant Governor (William Yale), Secretary of State (Samuel Jennison), Attorney General (Francis Cornell), and Treasurer (William Seeger). Austin, Yale, and Cornell were incumbents. Democratic nominees were not competitive this cycle losing each race by at least 16 points.
The Apportionment of 1871 increased the number of state Senate districts from 22 to 41 and the number of House districts from 47 to 106. Republicans enjoyed 29-12 and 72-34 advantages respectively for the 14th Legislature.
Associate Justices S.J.R. McMillan and J.M. Berry were reelected to the Supreme Court.
|1872||Ulysses Grant carried Minnesota en route to his landslide reelection victory. His 22.5-point win was his fifth best showing in the 10-state Midwest region behind Nebraska (41.4 points), Kansas (33.7 points), Iowa (27.9 points), and Michigan (27.2 points).
Congressional apportionment awarded Minnesota a third U.S. House seat with Republicans Mark Dunnell and John Averill reelected to two of them and Shakopee Mayor Horace Strait carrying the other. Republicans continued to hold the offices of state Auditor (O.P. Whitcomb) and Clerk of the Supreme Court with Sherwood Hough winning his third and final term for the latter.
Republicans entered the 15th Legislature in 1873 holding a 30-11 advantage over the Democrats in the state Senate and 78-28 advantage in the state House.
|1873||Democrats finally broke through in a statewide race for the first time since 1857 with appointed Treasurer Edwin Dyke retaining his seat running on the Democratic-Anti-Monopoly ticket. Republican Secretary of State Samuel Jennison nearly lost his reelection bid with a 0.7-point win over Democratic-Anti-Monopoly nominee and former state legislator John Stevens. Republicans won the remaining races for Governor (Cushman Davis), Lieutenant Governor (Alphonso Barto), and Attorney General (George P. Wilson) by six to seven points.
The GOP held 28 of 41 state Senate seats entering the 16th Legislature and 58 of 106 state House seats.
|1874||Republicans won all three U.S. House contests by single digits including the 2nd CD by less than a point with incumbent Horace Strait surviving an election contest by Democrat E. St. Julien Cox.
Republican control fell to 21 to 18 in the state Senate (plus two independents) and 54 to 48 in the state House (with two independents).
Appointed Chief Justice S.J.R. McMillan was elected to a full term on the Supreme Court as was former Attorney General Francis Cornell to one of the seats for Associate Justice.
|1875||In February, the state legislature elected Republican Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Samuel McMillan to the U.S. Senate.
The 1875 cycle was the first for the direct election for the office of the Railroad Commissioner (formerly a multi-member appointed position). This would be the first of five cycles before the office would revert back to appointments. Appointed Commissioner and former Governor William Marshall Republicans won the race for the GOP. Republicans held six other statewide offices for Governor (John Pillsbury), Lieutenant Governor (James Wakefield), Secretary of State (John Irgens), Attorney General (George Wilson), Auditor (O.P. Whitcomb), and Clerk of the Supreme Court (S.H. Nichols) by double-digits. Three-term Supreme Court Clerk Sherwood Hough did not receive the Republican nomination, however, and placed a distant fourth as the Anti-Monopoly nominee with just 0.8 percent. The GOP also picked up the office of state Treasurer with incumbent Edwin Dyke running as the Anti-Monopoly nominee and winning just 2.4 percent.
Republicans began the 18th Legislature in 1876 growing their lead to 24-17 in the Senate and 65-41 in the House.
Appointed Justice James Gilfillan was elected to the Supreme Court.
|1876||Republican Rutherford Hayes carried Minnesota in the presidential election by 19.6 points – his fourth largest victory margin in the 10-state Midwest region trailing Kansas (32.6 points), Nebraska (29.4 points), and Iowa (20.2 points).
Republicans swept all three U.S. House elections bringing their winning streak to 11 contests in a row and 22 of the last 23 for the office.
|1877||Republicans swept all statewide elections with Governor John Pillsbury, Lieutenant Governor James Wakefield, Secretary of State John Irgens, Attorney General George Wilson, Treasurer William Pfaender, and Railroad Commissioner William Marshall all victorious in their bid for second terms by at least 18 points.
The 1877 cycle also saw the Greenback Party (an amalgam of Greenbacks, Anti-Monopolists, and Grangers) field nominees for several statewide offices.
|1878||Republicans won both partisan statewide elections on the ballot with Auditor O.P. Whitcomb victorious for a third term and S.H. Nichols for a second as Clerk of the Supreme Court.
Democrats did pick up one U.S. House seat this cycle with state Senator Henry Poehler unseating three-term Republican Horace Strait in the 2nd CD.
Beginning with elections in 1878 to the 21st Legislature, state Representatives were elected to two-year terms.
Associate Justice J.M. Berry was reelected to the Supreme Court for a third term.
|1879||In January, the state legislature reelected Republican U.S. Senator William Windom to the chamber.
In November, Republicans continued to dominate Minnesota politics sweeping all six statewide offices led by Governor John Pillsbury at the top of the ticket winning a record third term. Railroad Commissioner William Marshall also won a third term. Despite turnover in the offices of Lieutenant Governor (C.A. Gilman), Secretary of State (Fred Von Baumbach), Attorney General (Charles Start) and Treasurer (Charles Kittelson) all six GOP nominees were victorious by at least 14 points.
|1880||Minnesotans once again backed the winner of the presidential election with Republican James Garfield defeating Winfield Hancock by 26.2 points – the most decisive victory in the state for the office since Lincoln’s win in 1860. For the first time a GOP presidential nominee fared better in Minnesota than Iowa (where Garfield won by 24.2 points) with Minnesota turning in the third strongest showing for Garfield in the 10-state Midwest region behind only Kansas (30.7 points) and Nebraska (30.3 points).
Republicans also won all three U.S. House seats – flipping the 2nd CD they lost in 1878 with Horace Strait defeating Democratic incumbent Henry Poehler in a rematch.
|1881||In January, the state legislature reelected Republican U.S. Senator Samuel McMillan to a second term. In October, the state legislature elected former Republican U.S. Senator William Windom in a special election caused by his own resignation in March 1881 to become Secretary of the Treasury under President James Garfield.
In November, Republicans enjoyed their most dominating sweep of Minnesota’s eight partisan statewide offices on the ballot with their nominees winning each contest by between 26 and 30 points and setting records for the largest victory margins to date for each of these eight offices. Elected were Lucius Hubbard for Governor, Lieutenant Governor Charles Gilman, Secretary of State Fred Von Baumbach, W.W. Braden for Auditor, Attorney General William Hahn, Treasurer Charles Kittelson, James Baker for Railroad Commissioner, and Clerk of the Supreme Court S.H. Nichols.
The Apportionment of 1881 increased the number of state Senate districts by six from 41 to 47 and reduced the number of state House districts by three from 106 to 103.
Congressional apportionment, meanwhile, increased the size of the state’s U.S. House delegation from three to five seats.
Appointed Associate Justice William Mitchell was elected to the Supreme Court along with appointed Associate Justice D.A. Dickinson and Fourth Judicial District Judge Charles Vanderburgh. Appointed Associate Justice Greenleaf Clark was defeated.
|1882||Congressional apportionment increased the Minnesota U.S. House delegation from three to five seats. Republicans swept all five U.S. House elections, now victorious in 32 of 36 seats on the ballot since 1857. Winners included former Lieutenant Governor James Wakefield in the 1st CD and future Governor and U.S. Senator Knute Nelson in the 5th CD.|
|1883||In February, the state legislature elected Stillwater Republican state Representative Dwight Sabin to the U.S. Senate.
In November, Republicans scored big victories across all six statewide offices this cycle with Governor Lucius Hubbard, Lieutenant Governor C.A. Gilman, Secretary of State Fred Von Baumbach, Attorney General William Hahn, Treasurer Charles Kittelson, and Railroad Commissioner James Baker all reelected by double-digit margins. This was the last election to the Railroad Commission as an 1885 bill would change the single-member, directly elected Railroad Commission to a three-member, appointed Railroad and Warehouse Commission. The constitutional offices elected in 1883 were for three-year terms for this single cycle and then back to two-year terms beginning with the Election of 1886.
|1884||Republican James Blaine easily carried Minnesota by 21.9 points but for the first time in state history Minnesota did not back the Electoral College winner (Democrat Grover Cleveland). Blaine’s showing in Minnesota was his second best in the 10-state Midwest region, recording a larger victory only in Kansas (24.2 points).
Republicans swept all five U.S. House elections sending four incumbents back to the U.S. House (Milo White, James Wakefield, Horace Strait, and Knute Nelson) with Congressman William Washburn getting elected to the U.S. Senate.
The GOP still enjoyed large majorities over the Democrats in the state Senate (36 to 11) and state House (75 to 21 with seven independents).
Associate Justice J.M. Berry was reelected to the Supreme Court for a fourth term.
|1886||Republicans swept all seven statewide partisan offices with six nominees winning open seats for Governor (Andrew McGill), Lieutenant Governor (Albert Rice), Secretary of State (Hans Mattson), Attorney General (Moses Clapp), Treasurer (Joseph Bobleter), and Clerk fo the Supreme Court (J.D. Jones). Auditor William Braden was the only incumbent on the ballot. Democrats nearly won the governorship for the first time since 1857 but Minneapolis Mayor Albert Ames came 1.2-points short of defeating McGill.
Democrats did flip three of the state’s five U.S. House seats – the open 1st CD (Thomas Wilson), the open 3rd (John Louis (J.L.) MacDonald), and the 4th (with Edmund Rice defeating Congressman John Gilfillan). The terms for Auditor and Supreme Court clerk were for four years; the terms for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Attorney General remained at two years.
Democrats gained several state legislative seats but Republicans still owned a 30 to 16 advantage in the Senate (with one Farmers’ Alliance lawmaker) and 66 to 34 majority in the House (with three from the Farmers’ Alliance).
Associate Justices William Marshall, D.A. Dickinson, and Charles Vanderburgh were all reelected to the Supreme Court.
|1887||In January, the state legislature elected former Republican Governor Cushman Davis to the U.S. Senate.
|1888||The race for president was the closest yet in Minnesota but GOP nominee Benjamin Harrison still carried the state by 14.5 points – his second best showing in the 10-state Midwest region only scoring a bigger victory in Kansas (24.2 points).
Republicans recorded another clean sweep of statewide offices with Lieutenant Governor Albert Rice, Secretary of State Hans Mattson, Attorney General Moses Clapp, and Treasurer Joseph Bobleter winning second terms by double-digits and state Representative William Merriam holding the governorship for his party with a 9.2-point victory over former U.S. Representative, Minneapolis Mayor, and state Senator Eugene Wilson.
Republicans also swept all five congressional races – knocking three Democratic freshmen out of office in the 1st (Mark Dunnell), 3rd (John Louis (J.L.) MacDonald), and 4th (Edmund Rice) CDs.
Chief Justice James Gilfillan and appointed Associate Justice Loren Collins were reelected to the Supreme Court in the last cycle of nonpartisan elections for the Court until 1912.
|1889||In January, the state legislature elected former Republican state Representative and U.S. Representative William Drew Washburn, Sr. to the U.S. Senate.
The Apportionment of 1889 increased the number of state Senate districts from 47 to 54 and the number of state House districts from 103 to 114.
|1890||Democrats claimed their first statewide office since 1873 with Adolph Biermann winning the race for Auditor by double-digits. Republicans won the remaining six statewide offices – with Governor William Merriam eking out a reelection victory by less than a point over former state Supreme Court Justice, state legislator, and U.S. Representative Thomas Wilson. GOP nominees carried each of the other five offices by less than six points: Gideon Ives in the open seat for Lieutenant Governor, Fred Brown in the open seat for Secretary of State, Attorney General Moses Clapp, Treasurer Joseph Bobleter, and Charles Holcomb for Clerk of the Supreme Court.
Four of the five Republican U.S. Representatives were knocked out of office – two by Democrats, one by a Democrat-Farmers’ Alliance nominee (William Harries), and one by a Farmers’ Alliance-Prohibition nominee (Kittel Halvorson).
The GOP majority in the Senate turned to a plurality – 25 Republicans, 16 Democrats, and 13 from the Farmers’ Alliance. In the state House Democrats outnumbered the GOP for the first time since the 1st Legislature – 52 to 43 – with 19 from the Farmers’ Alliance.
|1892||Benjamin Harrison carried Minnesota by 8.2 points – the most narrowly decided presidential race to this point in Minnesota history. Harrison’s winning margin in Minnesota was his second strongest in the 12-state Midwest region behind only South Dakota (11.8 points).
The GOP successfully put forth new nominees and held the offices of Governor (Knute Nelson), Lieutenant Governor (David Clough), and Attorney General (Henry Childs) by single digits. Incumbents for Secretary of State (Fred Brown) and Treasurer (Joseph Bobleter) won by similar margins.
The 1892 cycle was also the first with partisan elections for Associate and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Two incumbents were defeated running as the Republican-Prohibition nominees (Daniel Dickinson and Charles Vanderburgh). They were replaced by Democrat-People’s nominees Daniel Buck and Thomas Canty. Incumbent William Mitchell, who had the backing of the GOP, Democrats, and Prohibitionists, was reelected.
Congressional apportionment delivered two more seats to the Minnesota delegation for a total of seven with Republicans winning four seats, Democrats winning two, and the People’s Party (Populists) claiming one.
Republicans maintained a 25-16 advantage over the Democrats in the Senate with 13 seats held by the Populists. The GOP increased their advantage by a few dozen seats in the House – 71 to 36 over the Democrats with five fusionists (Democrat-People’s) and two Populists.
|1893||In January, the state legislature reelected Republican U.S. Senator Cushman Davis to a second term.|
|1894||Republican Governor Knute Nelson easily won reelection as did fellow incumbents Lieutenant Governor David Clough, Attorney General Henry Childs, and Associate Supreme Court Justice Loren Collins. GOP nominees for Chief Justice (Charles Start), Secretary of State (Albert Berg), Treasurer (August Koerner), Auditor (Robert Dunn), and Clerk of the Supreme Court (Darius Reese) completed the party’s sweep with Dunn knocking Democrat Adolph Biermann out of office.
Republicans flipped three U.S. House seats en route to winning all seven districts – unseating Democrats Osee Hall and Melvin Baldwin and Haldor Boen of the People’s Party.
Republicans also gained more than 20 seats in each state legislative chamber. In the Senate the GOP entered the 29th Legislature with 46 seats compared to five for the Populists and just three for the Democrats. Republicans held 95 seats in the House with 10 for the Democrats and nine for the Populists.
|1895||In January, the state legislature elected Republican Governor Knute Nelson to the U.S. Senate, knocking incumbent Republican William Washburn out of office by a 102-36 margin.|
|1896||In 1896, Republicans nominees in Minnesota thrived at the top and bottom of the ticket, but barely continued their winning ways in one prominent race in the middle. William McKinley carried Minnesota by 15.7 points – his second best showing in the 12-state Midwest region behind only Wisconsin (22.9 points).
However, Governor David Clough, who succeeded Knute Nelson mid-term, held off a strong campaign by Democratic nominee John Lind – a former three-term Republican U.S. Representative – and escaped with a one-point victory. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Albert Berg, Attorney General Henry Childs and Treasurer August Koerner all won by double-digits for the GOP as did John Gibbs, the party’s nominee for Lieutenant Governor. The 1896 cycle would be the last Republican sweep of Constitutional offices in Minnesota during the 19th Century.
Republicans won all seven congressional districts for the second consecutive cycle with incumbent Charles Towne failing to hold his seat as the nominee of the Democrats and People’s Party.
Republicans maintained their overwhelming majority in the state Senate (44 Republicans, five Populists, three Democrats, two Silver Republicans) and state House (90 Republicans, 13 Populists, 11 Democrats).
|1897||The legislative Apportionment of 1897 created nine more seats in the state Senate (increasing from 54 to 63) and five more in the House (increasing from 114 to 119).|
|1898||Republican Governor David Clough lost his party’s nomination to William Eustis who proved to be no match for Democratic-People’s nominee John Lind, a former three-term Republican U.S. Representative. Lind defeated Eustis by 8.0 points to give Democrats their first gubernatorial victory since 1857 after a string of 19 consecutive Republican wins.
However, Lind could not elevate the rest of his ‘fusion’ ticket to victory with Republican incumbents for Secretary of State (Albert Berg), Auditor (Robert Dunn), Treasurer (August Koerner), and Clerk of the Supreme Court (Darius Reese) all winning by double-digits along with nominees Lyndon Smith and Wallace Douglas in open seat races for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General respectively.
Moreover, three Supreme Court Associate Justices nominated by the Democrats and People’s Party (Thomas Canty, William Mitchell, Daniel Buck) lost their seats to Republican nominees (John Lovely, Calvin Brown, Charles Lewis).
Republicans ran their record to 21-0 over the last three cycles in elections to the U.S. House with one close race as former Republican Congressman Charles Towne came up one-point shy of unseating sitting GOP U.S. Representative R. Page Morris.
Large Republican majorities continued in the state Senate (44 Republicans, 18 Democrats, 1 independent) and the House (93 Republicans, 25 Democrats, 1 independent).
|1899||In January 1899, the state legislature reelected Republican U.S. Senator Cushman Davis to a third term.|
|1900||Republican President William McKinley once again carried Minnesota as voters backed the winning presidential candidate for the 10th time in 11 cycles. McKinley’s 24.5-point win was his second best showing in the Midwest behind only North Dakota (26.6 points) and his sixth best in the country.
McKinley’s performance in Minnesota no doubt aided Republican William Van Sant in his 2,254-vote win over Governor John Lind. No other Republican nominee for statewide office faced a competitive race with Lieutenant Governor Lyndon Smith and Attorney General Wallace Douglas coasting to double-digit victories along with nominees Peter Hanson for Secretary of State and Julius Block for Treasurer. Democrats did not even field challengers against incumbents Charles Start and Loren Collins for Chief Justice and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court respectively.
The 1900 cycle also brought back the return to direct elections for the Railroad and Warehouse Commission with Republicans Ira Mills, Joseph Miller, and Charles Staples sweeping the seats – knocking two appointed incumbents backed by Democrats and Populists out of office (Peter Ringdal and Thomas Knox).
All seven Republican U.S. Representatives were reelected to bring the GOP winning streak to 28 in a row for that office, with only one race decided by less than a dozen points.
The large majorities enjoyed by the Republicans continued in the state Senate (43 Republicans, 12 Democrats, six fusionists (Democrat-People’s), one People’s, one independent Republican) and state House (96 Republicans, 23 Democrats).
|1901||In January, the state legislature held a special election caused by the death of Republican U.S. Senator Cushman Davis. Former Republican Attorney General defeated appointed Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Towne to flip the seat. The legislature also reelected Republican U.S. Senator Knute Nelson to a second term.|
|1902||Republican Governor William Van Sant was elected to a second term by a healthy margin at the top of the ticket (20.9 points) with Secretary of State Peter Hanson, Attorney General Wallace Douglas, Treasurer Julius Block, and Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Charles Staples following suit. Fellow Republican nominees also won open seats for Lieutenant Governor (Ray Jones), Auditor (Samuel Iverson), and Clerk of the Supreme Court (C.A. Pidgeon) by more than 20 points to complete the GOP sweep.
Congressional apportionment in 1901 increased the state’s U.S. House delegation size from seven to nine seats. Democrats ended a 28-election losing streak for the office when former Governor John Lind unseated Loren Fletcher in the Minneapolis-based 5th CD for the lone Democratic victory. The 1902 cycle introduced primaries for U.S. House and state legislative races in Minnesota. None of the four GOP congressmen running for reelection lost their party's nomination.
|1904||Teddy Roosevelt recorded the most dominating victory in Minnesota presidential election history garnering 74 percent of the vote and defeating Alton Parker by 55.1 points. That marked Roosevelt’s largest victory in the Midwest and his second biggest victory nationwide behind only Vermont (59.1 points).
Despite Roosevelt’s landslide win, former Democratic state Senator John Johnson picked up the Governor’s seat for his party with a 2.6-point win over former state legislator and Auditor Robert Dunn. However, as has been the case in each of the few cycles in which Democrats were able to win a statewide race since 1857, Republicans swept all other statewide offices for Lieutenant Governor (incumbent Ray Jones), Secretary of State (incumbent Peter Hanson), Attorney General (Edward Young), Treasurer (incumbent Julius Block), Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner (incumbent Ira Mills and William Young), and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (incumbent Charles Lewis, Charles Elliott, and Edwin Jaggard; Republican Associate Justice Calvin Brown was also reelected and by the GOP and Democrats).
With Congressman John Lind not running for reelection in the 5th CD, Republicans picked up his seat and swept all nine districts.
|1905||In January, the state legislature reelected Republican U.S. Senator Moses Clapp to a second term.|
|1906||Democratic Governor John Johnson cruised to a 26.2-point reelection victory – a margin that goes down as the fifth largest in Minnesota history. Just like two years prior, however, Republicans rolled to double-digit victories in all other statewide races: for Lieutenant Governor (Adolph Eberhart), Secretary of State (Julius Schmahl), Auditor (incumbent Samuel Iverson), Attorney General (incumbent Edward Young), Treasurer (C.C. Dinehart), Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner (incumbent Charles Staples), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (incumbent Charles Start, running unopposed), and Clerk of the Supreme Court (incumbent C.A. Pidgeon).
Two-term Republican C.B. Buckman became the first Minnesota U.S. Representative to lose a primary election, falling by 7.8 points to Charles Lindbergh in the 6th CD. Democrats were able to pick up one seat with future Governor Winfield Hammond unseating seven-term incumbent James McCleary in the 2nd CD in a rematch of McCleary’s first congressional win in 1892.
Three Prohibitionists were elected to the state House: T.E. Noble (HD 09, Freeborn County), G.W. Higgins (HD 44, Hennepin), and E.E. Lobeck (HD 58, Douglas).
|1907||In January, the state legislature reelected Republican U.S. Senator Knute Nelson to a third term.|
|1908||With William Taft’s victory in Minnesota, Republican presidential nominees carried the state for the 13th consecutive cycle since statehood. The 26.1-point win was the third largest for Taft in the Midwest behind Michigan (29.5 points) and North Dakota (26.2 points) and the sixth largest in the nation.
Democratic Governor John Johnson nonetheless was reelected to a third term (by 8 points), although he died in office less than a year later in September 1909. Republican Lieutenant Governor Adolph Eberhart was easily reelected and succeeded Johnson. Additional Republicans winning reelection Secretary of State Julius Schmahl, Treasurer C.C. Dinehart, and Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Ira Mills. The GOP also held open seats for Attorney General and another Railroad and Warehouse Commission slot with George Simpson and Charles Elmquist respectively.
Three-term Republican Congressman J. Adam Bede lost the 8th CD primary to state Representative Clarence Miller - the second incumbent to lose a congressional primary in Minnesota history. The GOP retained all eight seats in the general election with Democrat Winfield Hammond holding the 2nd CD.
|1910||Republican Governor Adolph Eberhart, who succeeded the John Johnson after his passing in September 1909, was elected to a second term by 20.5 points. Other Republican incumbents coasting to another term were Secretary of State Julius Schmahl, Auditor Samuel Iverson, Attorney General George Simpson, Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Charles Staples, and Associate Supreme Court Justices Edwin Jaggard and Calvin Brown. Republican nominees also won open seats for Lieutenant Governor (Samuel Gordon) and Treasurer (Walter Smith). Democratic Associate Justice lost his seat placing third in a Top 2 election with GOPer David Simpson winning his seat. Republican Philip Brown placed second in the other Top 2 election for the fourth and final Associate Justice seat on the ballot in 1910. The 1910 cycle was the last to hold partisan elections for the Supreme Court.
Nine-term Republican Congressman James A. Tawney became the third incumbent U.S. Representative to lose a primary in Minnesota, falling to attorney Sydney Anderson by 11.6 points. For the second consecutive cycle, Republicans held their eight seats as did Democrat Winfield Hammond in the 2nd CD.
In the state House, a third seat was added to the 17th District increasing the total number of representatives in the 37th Legislature by one to 120.
In elections to the state House, the first Public Ownership (Socialist) nominee won a seat: Nels Hillman (HD 51, Cook and Lake Counties).
|1911||In January, the state legislature reelected Republican U.S. Senator Moses Clapp to a third term.|
|1912||For the first time in Minnesota history, voters did not back a Republican nominee for president – ending a string of 13 straight cycles. Instead, the state backed Progressive Teddy Roosevelt by 5.8 points with 37.7 percent of the vote – the lowest support ever recorded for a presidential candidate carrying the Gopher State.
The first primary for statewide offices was held in September with five political parties holding contests: Republicans, Democrats, Prohibitionists, Public Ownership (Socialists), and Socialist Labor. Each incumbent (all Republicans) running for reelection were renominated at the primary. A primary was also held for the U.S. Senate following the passage of the Keefe law (authored by Democratic state Representative Joseph R. Keefe) which provided that state legislative candidates sign a pledge to observe the popular vote for U.S. Senate (not all candidates agreed to follow the spirit of the law).
Republicans swept the slate of statewide offices once again in November including nine incumbents: Governor Adolph Eberhart, Secretary of State Julius Schmahl (to a record fourth term), Attorney General Lyndon Smith (who was appointed to the office in January 1912 after the resignation of George Simpson), Treasurer Walter Smith, Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners Ira Mills and Charles Elmquist, and U.S. Senator Knute Nelson (winning the 'voter preference' ballot as the 17th Amendment had not yet been ratified). Republicans also held the open seat of Lieutenant Governor with nominee J.A.A. Burnquist.
Nonpartisan elections to the state Supreme Court began in 1912 with Chief Justice Andrew Holt and Associate Justice Charles Start retaining their seats and Associate Justice George Bunn losing his to Oscar Hallam.
Congressional apportionment increased Minnesota’s U.S. House delegation size from nine to 10 seats, but for this lone cycle the district map for the nine seats from 1902-1910 remained in place with a new 10th at-large seat added. No incumbents were defeated in the congressional primaries. Republicans held their eight districts and won the at-large seat (James Manahan) with Democrat Winfield Hammond elected to a fourth term in the 2nd CD.
|1913||The Apportionment of 1913 increased the number of state Senators from 63 to 67 and the number of state Representatives from 119 to 130.|
|1914||Governor Adolph Eberhart lost the Republican primary to banker and former state legislator William Lee. All other incumbents running for reelection to statewide office were renominated.
In the general election, four-term Congressman Winfield Hammond flipped the Governor’s seat to the Democrats with a 3.7-point win over Lee. The Democratic hold on the seat would be short-lived, however as Hammond died less than a year into his term. Republican incumbents winning reelection – all by double-digits – were Lieutenant Governor J.A.A. Burnquist (who succeeded Hammond in December 1915), Secretary of State Julius Schmahl (to a record fifth term), Attorney General Lyndon Smith, Treasurer Walter Smith, Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Ole P.B. Jacobson, and Clerk of the Supreme Court Irving Caswell (who ran unopposed). J.A.O. Preus, the GOP nominee for Auditor, was also elected.
All U.S. Representatives running for reelection were renominated but one was unseated in the general election: nine-term Congressman Frederick Stevens of the 4th CD (Ramsey County), who lost by 19.3 points to Democrat Carl Van Dyke. Progressives also won the newly created 10th CD with nominee Thomas Schall.
This was the first cycle in which nominees for the state legislature would be designated without party affiliation. Nonpartisan elections for the two legislative chambers would continue through the 1972 cycle.
Appointed Associate Justice George Bunn was elected to the Supreme Court.
|1916||In March 1916, Minnesota held its first presidential primaries. Democratic President Woodrow Wilson ran unopposed and Iowa U.S. Senator Albert Cummins easily won a three-candidate race for the Republicans. In November, Wilson nearly became the first Democrat to carry Minnesota – losing to Charles Hughes by 392 votes (0.1 percent) – in what would go down as the closest presidential race in state history. Only New Hampshire served up a more competitive race this cycle (0.06 points).
The Democratic Party was in disarray in the remaining statewide races. Governor J.A.A. Burnquist was elected by 39.1 points – the biggest blowout in Minnesota history for the office. Democrats failed to field a nominee for the first time in history in races for Secretary of State (Julius Schmahl was reelected to a record sixth term), Attorney General (Lyndon Smith winning a fourth term), and Treasurer (with Henry Rines winning an open seat). Republican Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Ira Mills was also reelected and the GOP also won the open seat for Lieutenant Governor (Thomas Frankson).
In the U.S. Senate, Moses Clapp lost his first direct election to the chamber when he placed a distant third with just 15.2 percent in the June Republican primary behind nominee Frank Kellogg and former Governor Adolph Eberhart. Kellogg easily dispatched with Democratic nominee Daniel Lawler by 17.7 points with Prohibitionist Willis Calderwood receiving and impressive 20.6 percent of the vote.
Two-term Republican U.S. Representative George Smith lost the 5th CD primary to Ernest Lundeen as the lone incumbent to seek and lose renomination. Partisan control of all 10 seats remained the same: eight Republican-held, one Democratic (the 4th), and one Progressive (the 10th).
Appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Albert Schaller failed to be nominated after placing third in the June primary in a seat won by Winona attorney and former state Representative William Anderson in November.
|1917||The legislature repealed the Presidential Preference Primary Act on March 29, 1917. State run presidential primaries would not return until 1952.|
|1918||The only casualty in the June 1918 primary in races for statewide office was Republican Clerk of the Supreme Court Irving Caswell, who lost his party's nomination by 0.9 points to the Nonpartisan League-backed candidate Herman Mueller.
In the general election, Republicans ran the table with Mueller’s victory and seven incumbents holding their seats by double-digit margins: Governor J.A.A. Burnquist, Lieutenant Governor Thomas Frankson, Secretary of State Julius Schmahl (to a record seventh term), Auditor J.A.O. Preus, appointed Attorney General Clifford Hilton, Treasurer Henry Rines, and appointed Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Fred Putnam.
In federal races, U.S. Senator Knute Nelson won his fifth and final term. No Democratic nominee was in the race but National (Prohibitionist) nominee Willis Calderwood won 39.9 percent. In elections to the U.S. House, Freshman U.S. Representative Ernest Lundeen was ousted in the 5th CD GOP primary by Hennepin County assistant prosecuting attorney Walter Newton by 4.1 points in a five-candidate field. In the general election, five-term Republican Clarence Miller lost his 8th CD seat to Union Labor nominee William Carss. The GOP technically gained a seat with Progressive 10th CD Congressman Thomas Schall accepting the GOP nomination and winning reelection. Democrats maintained their hold on their lone seat - Carl Van Dyke’s 4th CD seat based in St. Paul, although he would pass away in May 1919.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Calvin Brown and Associated Justices Andrew Holt and Oscar Hallam were also reelected.
|1919||The first special election to the U.S. House was held in July 1919 following the May 1919 death of three-term 4th CD Democrat Carl Van Dyke. Independent Oscar Keller won the St. Paul-based district.|
|1920||Minnesota’s presidential preference primary law was repealed in 1917, but the state Republican Party decided to hold a preference vote at its caucuses on March 15th which was won by General Leonard Wood with progressive California U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson placing second among six candidates.
Two months after Minnesota's statewide primary in June, the 19th Amendment was ratified granting women the right to vote.
Warren Harding won Minnesota by 51.16 points which was his fourth largest victory in the nation and third largest in the Midwest behind North Dakota (59.60 points) and Wisconsin (54.92 points).
In the June primary, Auditor J.A.O. Preus won a competitive GOP race for Governor, edging former state legislator Henrik Shipstead by 2.6 points (Shipstead would run as an independent in the general election). Attorney General Clifford Hilton and Treasurer Henry Rines would also eke out single-digit renomination victories.
In November, Republicans delivered another clean sweep in races for Governor (J.A.O. Preus), Lieutenant Governor (Louis Collins), Secretary of State (Mike Holm, in the first of his record 16 terms), Attorney General (Clifford Hilton), Treasurer (Henry Rines), and Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner (Ole P.B. Jacobson) – all by convincing double-digit margins.
Another Republican U.S. Representative lost their party’s primary this cycle: 10-term Congressman Andrew Volstead to Ole Kvale. However, the state Supreme Court ruled Kvale had violated the corrupt practices act and the GOP nomination was eventually awarded to Volstead. One incumbent also lost in the general election – freshman Union Laborite-turned-Democrat William Carss of the 8th CD – who was unseated in a 1.6-point loss to Republican Oscar Larson. Republicans thus held all 10 U.S. House seats for the first time and swept the congressional races for the first time since 1904.
Appointed Associate Justice Homer Dibell was elected to the Supreme Court.
|1922||Republicans swept all constitutional offices, although Governor J.A.O. Preus was nearly unseated by Farmer-Labor nominee Magnus Johnson, winning by just 2.1 points. Lieutenant Governor Louis Collins, Secretary of State Mike Holm, Attorney General Clifford Hilton, and Treasurer Henry Rines were reelected by more comfortable margins. Associate Supreme Court Justice James Quinn and appointed GOP Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Ivan Bowen were also reelected.
Republican Clerk of the Supreme Court nominee Grace Kaercher became the first woman endorsed for state office by the Republican Party in Minnesota history, the first woman elected to statewide office in Minnesota, and the first woman elected to Clerk of the Supreme Court in any state.
Farmer-Laborite Henrik Shipstead unseated U.S. Senator Frank Kellogg marking the first defeat for the GOP for the office since 1857.
Democrats did not field nominees for Treasurer or in U.S. House races against GIO incumbent Frank Clague (CD 02), Harold Knutson (CD 06), Andrew Volstead (CD 07), Halvor Steenerson (CD 09), and Thomas Schall (CD 10). Volstead was unseated by independent Ole Kvale and Steenerson lost to Farmer-Laborite Knud Wefald.
|1923||Farmer-Laborites scored their biggest victory to date with Magnus Johnson defeating J.A.O. Preus in a special U.S. Senate election held in July to fill the vacancy after the death of long-serving GOP lawmaker Knute Nelson. This marked the first time a U.S. Senate election was lost by Minnesota Republicans since the initial state legislative elections held for the office in December 1857.|
|1924||Republican President Calvin Coolidge carried Minnesota with a 9.92-point victory over Progressive Robert LaFollette who received the largest share of the vote of any non-major party presidential candidate in state history (41.26 percent).
Republican state Representative Theodore Christianson was elected Governor in a close race against Floyd Olson who would occupy the office during the next decade. Republicans also held the open seat for Lieutenant Governor (William Nolan). Republican Secretary of State Mike Holm, Attorney General Clifford Hilton, Treasurer Henry Rines, and appointed Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner and Frank Matson all won another term.
Farmer-Laborite U.S. Senate Magnus Johnson lost his reelection bid for a full term to Progressive-turned-Republican U.S. Representative Thomas Schall.
In races for the U.S. House, 11-term Republican Charles Davis lost his party’s nomination to August Andresen by 108 votes. The GOP carried eight of the 10 districts with Farmer-Laborites winning two seats.
Associate Supreme Court Justices Andrew Holt and Royal Stone were each elected to another term.
|1926||Republicans swept elections for statewide office again, reelecting Governor Theodore Christianson, Lieutenant Governor William Nolan, Secretary of State Mike Holm, Auditor Ray Chase, Attorney General Clifford Hilton, Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Ole Jacobson, and Clerk of the Supreme Court Grace Kaercher. Julius Schmahl defeated appointed Treasurer Edward Stark in the GOP primary en route to a general election victory. Democrats did not field nominees in races for Secretary of State and Treasurer.
In U.S. House races, Republican incumbent Oscar Carss placed a distant third in the 4th CD primary behind Melvin Maas. In the general election, Republican Conrad Selvig flipped the 9th CD seat held by Farmer-Laborite Knud Wefald. The GOP won eight seats overall to two for the Farmer-Labor Party.
Associate Justice Homer Dibell was reelected to the Supreme Court.
|1928||Herbert Hoover easily carried Minnesota for the Republican Party at the top of the ticket. Down the ballot incumbent Governor Theodore Christianson, Lieutenant Governor William Nolan, Secretary of State Mike Holm, Attorney General G. Aaron Youngquist, Treasurer Julius Schmahl, and Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Christian Laurisch all won election.
Farmer-Laborite Henrik Shipstead won a second term to the U.S. Senate. Two-term U.S. Representative Allen Furlow lost the 1st CD GOP primary to Victor Christgau and Farmer-Laborite William Carss was unseated in the 8th CD general election by Republican William Pittenger. Republicans won nine U.S. House seats with the Farmer-Laborites carrying one district.
Appointed Associate Justice Clifford Hilton won a full term to the Supreme Court.
|1929||A pair of rare special elections to the U.S. House took place in 1929. Republicans held the Minneapolis-based 5th CD in June with nominee Lieutenant Governor William Nolan. In October, Farmer-Laborite Paul John Kvale held the 7th CD seat for his party previously occupied by his father Ole Kvale who died in office. These were just the second and third special elections to the U.S. House held in state history.|
|1930||The Farmer-Labor Party scored its biggest victory to date winning the Governor’s mansion with Floyd Olson at the top of the ticket in an open seat race, handily defeating GOP state Auditor Ray Chase. Farmer-Laborites also won the open seat for Lieutenant Governor (Henry Arens). Republicans held the remaining statewide offices with Secretary of State Mike Holm, Attorney General Henry Benson, Treasurer Julius Schmahl, Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Frank Matson, and Clerk of the Supreme Court Grace Kaerchner Davis. Stafford King also was victorious in the open seat race for Auditor. Democrats did not field nominees for Lieutenant Governor and Clerk of the Supreme Court.
In federal races, Republican U.S. Senator Thomas Schall defeated Democrat Einar Hoidale by less than two points in the best showing for the Democrats in the direct election era. All 10 U.S. Representatives – nine Republicans and one Farmer-Laborite – won reelection this cycle.
In nonpartisan races, Andrew Holt and Royal Stone were reelected Associate Justices of the Supreme Court.
|1932||Franklin Roosevelt ended a string of 18 consecutive losses since statehood for Democratic presidential nominees in Minnesota with a decisive 23-point victory over President Herbert Hoover.
Overall, though it was a banner cycle for the Farmer-Laborites. Governor Floyd Olson was reelected to a second term and Harry Peterson knocked Republican Attorney General Henry Benson out of office. Fellow party members K.K. Solberg and Knud Wefald won open seats for Lieutenant Governor and Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner respectively. Meanwhile, Republican Secretary of State Mike Holm won his sixth term and GOP Treasurer Julius Schmahl won his fourth. Democrats did not field a nominee for Lieutenant Governor.
The state lost a U.S. House seat and was not able to agree on the district lines so each of the nine seats were elected at-large. Three Republican incumbents were subsequently defeated in the primary (Victor Christgau, Melvin Maas, Godfrey Godwin) and four lost in the general election (August Andresen, William Nolan, Conrad Selvig, and William Pittenger). In total, Farmer-Laborites won five seats, Republicans won three, and Democrats notched one (Einar Hoidale) – their first in fourteen years (Carl Van Dyke, 1918, 4th CD).
Associate Supreme Court Justices Homer Dibell, Charles Loring, and I.M. Olsen were also victorious.
|1934||Farmer-Labor Governor Floyd Olson won a third term at the top of the ticket with Attorney General Harry Peterson also getting reelected for the party. Farmer-Laborites also flipped two GOP-held seats: Charles Munn defeated Republican Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Christian Laurisch and Russell Gunderson beat Clerk of the Supreme Court Grace Kaercher Davis. Farmer-Labor state Representative Hjalmar Petersen held his party's open seat for Lieutenant Governor. Republicans Mike Holm and Julius Schmahl won their seventh and fifth terms for Secretary of State and Treasurer respectively. GOP Auditor Stafford King won a second term after a recount against Farmer-Laborite John Lyons.
In federal races, Farmer-Laborite Henrik Shipstead cruised to a third term in the U.S. Senate against Democratic Congressman Einar Hoidale. District lines were finally drawn following the 1932 election which saw all nine U.S. Representatives elected at-large. That set up one incumbent vs. incumbent Republican primary showdown in the 5th CD won by Theodore Christianson over Ray Chase. The general election also saw two incumbents face each other in the 6th CD with Republican Harold Knutson defeating Farmer-Laborite Magnus Johnson. Democrat Elmer Ryan unseated Farmer-Laborite Henry Arens in the 2nd CD and Farmer-Laborite turned independent Francis Shoemaker lost his seat to former Congressman William Pittenger in the 8th CD. Overall, Republicans won five seats, the Farmer-Laborites won three, and Democrats won one.
Appointed Chief Justice John Devaney won election to his seat as did Associate Justice Clifford Hilton and appointed Associate Justice Julius Olson.
|1936||Franklin Roosevelt carried Minnesota by 30.8 points for the lone Democratic victory in a statewide race for the most decisive victory in a presidential election by a Democratic nominee. The Farmer-Labor Party held the open seats for Governor and Lieutenant Governor with nominees Elmer Benson and G.T. Lindsten respectively, Attorney General Harry Peterson won a third term, C.A. Halverson unseated five-term Republican Treasurer Julius Schmahl, and Hjalmar Petersen unseated Republican Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Frank Matson. Republicans only won the office of Secretary of State with Mike Holm victorious in his bid for an eighth term. Andrew Holt and Royal Stone were reelected Associate Justices of the Supreme Court.
In federal races there was a partisan split in the two elections for U.S. Senate. Farmer-Laborite Ernest Lundeen won an election to a full term, replacing nominee Governor Floyd Olson who died in August. Democratic nominee Patrick Delaney withdrew from the race in October to help ensure Olson would defeat Republican congressman and former Governor Theodore Christianson. Republican Guy Howard won a special election to serve the remaining few months of the term of Thomas Schall who died in December 1935.
In U.S. House elections, the Farmer-Labor Party picked off two seats from the Republicans, flipping the open 5th CD seat with Dewey Johnson and defeating incumbent William Pittenger in the 8th CD with John Bernard. The Farmer-Laborites won five seats, the Republicans three, and the Democrats one.
|1938||Republicans rebounded from a devastating 1936 election cycle by flipping six Farmer-Labor held seats for statewide office. Harold Stassen unseated Governor Elmer Benson, former Governor J.A.A. Burnquist defeated appointed Attorney General William Ervin, Julius Schmahl won back his old seat against Treasurer C.A. Halverson, Frank Matson returned to the Railroad and Warehouse Commission by unseating appointed Commissioner Harold Atwood, Grace Kaerchner Davis won back her position as Clerk of the Supreme Court, and C. Elmer Anderson won the open seat for Lieutenant Governor. Republicans Mike Holm and Stafford King were also reelected as Secretary of State and Auditor respectively.
Republicans picked up four U.S. House seats from Farmer-Laborite incumbents: John Alexander over Henry Teigan in the 3rd CD, Oscar Youngdahl over Dewey Johnson in the 5th CD, H. Carl Andersen over Paul John Kvale in the 7th CD, and former Congressman William Pittenger over John Bernard in the 8th CD. Republicans won seven seats with one each for the Democrats and Farmer-Laborites.
Associate Justices Charles Loring and Harry Peterson also won elections to the Supreme Court.
|1940||Franklin Roosevelt carried Minnesota in a close race against Wendell Willkie marking just the third time a presidential election had been decided by less than five points out of 21 elections held at that point in state history.
Republicans swept the remaining statewide offices led by Governor Harold Stassen, Lieutenant Governor C. Elmer Anderson, Secretary of State Mike Holm (winning his 11th term), Attorney General J.A.A. Burnquist, Treasurer Julius Schmahl, and N.J. Holmberg who unseated Farmer-Laborite Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Charles Munn.
U.S. Senator Henrik Shipstead ran as a Republican this cycle after three terms as a Farmer-Laborite and cruised to a large double-digit victory. In elections to the U.S. House, freshman John Alexander lost the 3rd CD Republican primary to Dick Gale. In November, three-term Democrat Elmer Ryan was defeated in the 2nd CD by Republican Joseph O’Hara as the GOP claimed eight districts with one going to the Farmer-Labor Party.
Associate Justices Clifford Hilton and Julius Olson were reelected to their fourth and third terms respectively.
|1942||Republicans dominated again at the ballot box although there was one incumbent electoral casualty. Lieutenant Governor C. Elmer Anderson was defeated in the GOP primary by state Dairy and Food Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture Edward Thye. Republicans swept statewide offices in November with Governor Harold Stassen, Secretary of State Mike Holm, Auditor Stafford King, Attorney General J.A.A. Burnquist, Treasurer Julius Schmahl, and Clerk of the Supreme Court Grace Kaercher Davis winning reelection, Thye holding the Lieutenant Governorship, and William Nolan winning an open seat on the Railroad and Warehouse Commission. Governor Stassen resigned on April 27, 1943 to enter the U.S. Navy and serve in World War II with Thye succeeding him.
Republicans won both U.S. Senate elections on the ballot. Arthur Nelson won the special election to fill the remaining two months of the term for the seat of the late Farmer-Laborite Ernest Lundeen who died in August 1940. Senator Joseph Ball, who was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by Lundeen’s death, opted to only run for the full six-year term and won easily. In U.S. House contests, Walter Judd defeated freshman Oscar Youngdahl in the 5th CD GOP primary. Republicans held all eight seats in the general with Harold Hagen holding the open 9th CD for the Farmer-Labor Party.
Luther Youngdahl and Thomas Gallagher won two open seats on the Supreme Court with incumbent Royal Stone dying in office following the September primary but prior to the general election.
|1944||This cycle was the first since the merger of the Democratic and Farmer-Labor parties earlier in the year. Franklin Roosevelt carried Minnesota for a fourth consecutive cycle in a competitive race against Thomas Dewey while Republicans swept the remaining partisan statewide races. Edward Thye, who succeeded Harold Stassen in 1943 after the governor resigned to join the U.S. Navy, won his first election to the office. Meanwhile, C. Elmer Anderson won back his old seat as Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State Mike Holm won his 13th term, Attorney General J.A.A. Burnquist won his fourth term, and Treasurer Julius Schmahl won his ninth noneconsecutive term. Former Auditor and U.S. Representative Ray Chase defeated appointed Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Rollin Johnson in the GOP primary en route to his win in November.
Seven Republicans were reelected to the U.S. House (with Farmer-Laborite Harold Hagen joining the GOP) but two were unseated by DFLers: Dick Gale lost to William Gallagher and Melvin Maas was defeated by Frank Starkey.
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Charles Loring was reelected without opposition. The winners of the three seats for Associate Justice were incumbent Harry Peterson, appointed incumbent Clarence Magney, and Leroy Matson.
|1946||Republicans swept all statewide partisan elections once again. Associate Supreme Court Justice Luther Youngdahl held the open seat race for Governor with the remaining seven state incumbents also securing another term: Lieutenant Governor C. Elmer Anderson, Secretary of State Mike Holm, Auditor Stafford King, Attorney General J.A.A. Burnquist, Treasurer Julius Schmahl, Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner N.J. Holmberg, and Clerk of the Supreme Court Grace Kaercher Davis.
Republican U.S. Senator Henrik Shipstead failed in his bid for a fifth term, losing his party’s primary to Governor Edward Thye. In races for the U.S. House, Republicans netted one seat for an eight to one advantage over the DFL. The GOP took back the 3rd CD with George MacKinnon winning the open seat race as well as the 4th CD with Edward Devitt unseating Frank Starkey. The DFL, meanwhile, knocked William Pittenger out of office in the 8th CD behind John Blatnik.
In the non-partisan election for two Associate Justice of the Supreme Court seats, Julius Olson won reelection but appointed Justice William Christianson was defeated. Waseca attorney William Gallagher claimed the second seat.
|1948||President Harry Truman easily carried Minnesota at the top of the ticket for the DFL which helped the party flip two other offices in statewide elections. Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey unseated U.S. Senator Joseph Ball and Minneapolis funeral director Clifford Peterson defeated appointed Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Rollin Johnson. The remaining elections for constitutional offices were competitive but held by the Republican incumbents: Governor Luther Youngdahl, Lieutenant Governor C. Elmer Anderson, Secretary of State Mike Holm, Attorney General J.A.A. Burnquist, and Treasurer Julius Schmahl.
The DFL also unseated three U.S. Representatives and won four of the nine districts overall: Roy Wier defeated freshman George MacKinnon in the 3rd CD, Eugene McCarthy beat freshman Edward Devitt in the 4th CD, and Fred Marshall was victorious over long-serving lawmaker Harold Knutson in the 6th CD. This marked the first time Democrats had held four seats in the state delegation in Minnesota history.
Both incumbent Associate Justices of the Supreme Court were reelection – Thomas Gallagher and appointed Justice Oscar Knutson.
|1950||Republicans won all statewide elections on the ballot in November: Governor Luther Youngdahl (third term), Lieutenant Governor C. Elmer Anderson (sixth nonconsecutive term), Secretary of State Mike Holm (16th and final term), Auditor Stafford King (sixth term), Attorney J.A.A. Burnquist (seventh term), Clerk of the Supreme Court Grace Kaercher Davis (seventh nonconsecutive term), appointed Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Leonard Linquist (special and general elections), and Val Bjornson who won the open seat for Treasurer following Julius Schmahl’s retirement after a record 11 terms. Governor Thye resigned in September 1951 to accept an appointment to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia where he served for nearly 30 years. Lieutenant Governor Anderson succeeded him.
In congressional races, all nine incumbents – five Republicans and four DFLers – were reelected.
In non-partisan elections to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Charles Loring and appointed Associate Justice Theodore Christianson, Jr. were victorious.
|1952||Minnesota brought back the presidential primary for the first time since 1916 with former Republican Governor Harold Stassen and DFL U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey winning their party’s respective contests. In November, the GOP ended its five-cycle slide with Dwight Eisenhower carrying Minnesota by 11 points.
Republicans also held most major offices with Governor C. Elmer Anderson winning election to his first full term, Attorney General J.A.A. Burnquist winning his record eighth and final term, Treasurer Val Bjornson reelected to a second term, appointed Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Wally Lund winning special and general elections. Additionally, former state Senator Ancher Nelsen was elected Lieutenant Governor for the GOP and Virginia Holm, widow of former 16-term Secretary of State Mike Holm, was elected to her late husband’s seat with special and general election victories. The DFL did flip one seat on the Railroad and Warehouse Commission with Paul Rasmussen carrying the open seat.
U.S. Senator Edward Thye won a second term and, for the second consecutive cycle, all nine incumbent U.S. Representatives were reelected – five Republicans and four DFLers.
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Frank Gallagher was elected to a second term.
|1954||The DFL had its best cycle to date led by Minneapolis attorney and former party chair Orville Freeman unseating Governor C. Elmer Anderson, marking the first time a Democrat held the office since Winfield Hammond died in office in December 1915. DFL also flipped five other major offices: former party chair Karl Rolvaag won the open seat for Lieutenant Governor, Joseph Donovan unseated Secretary of State Virginia Holm, Miles Lord won the open seat for Attorney General, Arthur Hansen won the open seat for Treasurer, and milkman Frank Larkin defeated Clerk of the Supreme Court Grace Kaercher Davis. [Larkin's shocking primary and general election wins spurred the legislature to put forth a constitutional amendment making this office appointed. The amendment was passed on the November 6, 1956 ballot.] Hjalmar Petersen won the DFL nomination from Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Clifford Peterson en route to a general election victory. The lone Republican victor was Auditor Stafford King who narrowly won reelection to a seventh term.
Hubert Humphrey defeated Republican Auditor Val Bjornson by double digits to win a second term in the U.S. Senate. The DFL won five of nine U.S. House elections with Coya Knutson unseating six-term Republican Harold Hagen in the 9th CD. Knutson was the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in Minnesota history.
Appointed Chief Justice Roger Dell and appointed Associate Justice Martin Nelson were each elected back to the Supreme Court and Associate Justices Oscar Knutson and Frank Gallagher were each reelected to a third term.
|1956||Minnesota held its third presidential primary in March and its last until 1992 with President Dwight Eisenhower and Tennessee U.S. Senator Estes Kefauver winning the GOP and DFL primaries respectively. Eisenhower’s victory in November over Adlai Stevenson shrunk to single digits this cycle.
As a result, the GOP was only able to flip one of the major offices lost in the 1954 DFL wave: former Treasurer Val Bjornson won back his old seat by notching just shy of 4,000 more votes than incumbent Arthur Hansen. The remaining five DFL incumbents holding statewide office on the ballot were reelected by single digits: Governor Orville Freeman, Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag, Secretary of State Joseph Donovan, Attorney General Miles Lord, and Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Paul Rasmussen.
All nine incumbent U.S. Representatives – five DFLers and four Republicans – won another term in Washington, D.C.
Associate Justice Leroy Matson and appointed Justice William Murphy were both victorious in elections to the state Supreme Court.
|1958||In the midst of a national Democratic wave, the DFL was able to pick up two of four seats they did not already hold on the ballot in partisan statewide races. DFL U.S. Representative Eugene McCarthy unseated Republican U.S. Senator Edward Thye to give Democrats control of both seats for the first time since 1859. Ron Anderson also flipped the Railroad and Warehouse Commission seat held by Wally Lund.
All four DFL incumbents cruised to double-digit victories: Governor Orville Freeman, Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag, Secretary of State Joseph Donovan, and Attorney General Miles Lord. [Lord resigned in May 1960 and Freeman appointed Minneapolis attorney Walter Mondale to fill the vacancy]. Auditor Stafford King and Treasurer Val Bjornson narrowly held their seats for the Republican Party.
Republican August Andresen’s death in January 1958 prompted just the fourth special U.S. House election in state history. Al Quie held the 1st CD seat with a 602-vote win for the GOP in February. That November, Republicans flipped one seat to hold a 5-4 advantage in the state delegation after Odin Langen defeated 9th CD Congresswoman Coya Knutson.
Associate Justice Frank Gallagher was elected to his third term on the Supreme Court.
|1959||The legislature repealed the Presidential Preference Primary Act on March 6, 1959. State run presidential primaries would not return until 1992.|
|1960||John Kennedy carried Minnesota by 1.4 points for the Democrats at the top of the ticket – the second narrowest election for the office at that point in state history.
Republicans were able to pry back one prominent office as a result with former state Senator Elmer Andersen knocking Governor Orville Freeman out of office by 1.5 points. The remaining DFL officeholders on the state ballot were reelected: Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag, Secretary of State Joseph Donovan, appointed Attorney General Walter Mondale, and Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Hjalmar Petersen. Republican Treasurer Val Bjornson was reelected to his fifth nonconsecutive term.
Hubert Humphrey fell short in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination but easily defeated former GOP state party chair P.K. Peterson to win a second term in the U.S. Senate. Republicans picked up a U.S. House seat for a second consecutive cycle – Clark MacGregor defeated six-term DFLer in the 3rd CD – to claim six of the nine congressional districts for the first time since the Election of 1946.
Chief Justice Roger Dell was reelected to the Supreme Court as were Associate Justices Oscar Knutson, Martin Nelson, and Thomas Gallagher.
|1962||The 1962 cycle was the first cycle in which select constitutional offices (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Attorney General) moved from two-year to four-year terms (elections for Auditor were already on four-year cycles).
The gubernatorial election was the closest in state history, with Governor Andersen initially certified the winner by 142 votes on November 29th. A prolonged election contest resulted in a three-judge Ramsey County district court determining on March 21, 1963 that Rolvaag had won by 91 votes. [Andersen served a few months into this abbreviated second term while legal proceedings unfolded].
DFL State Senator Sandy Keith won Rolvaag’s old position as Lieutenant Governor and his 0.38-point win over state Representative C. Donald Peterson was also the most narrowly decided election for the office in Minnesota history. DFL incumbents were reelected for Secretary of State (Joseph Donovan), Attorney General (Walter Mondale), and Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner (Paul Rasmussen). Republican Auditor Stafford King was elected to a record ninth term and fellow party member Val Bjornson won a sixth nonconsecutive term for Treasurer.
After reapportionment, Minnesota lost a seat in the U.S. House for the first time in 30 years, dropping to eight seats. After losing a notable swath of his constituency after redistricting, 12-term Republican H. Carl Andersen lost his party’s nomination to Robert Odegard in the 6th CD – the first congressman to lose a primary since Republican Oscar Youngdahl in the 5th CD in 1942. In November, 10-term Republican Walter Judd was unseated by Don Fraser in the 5th CD as the two parties split the eight seats in the delegation.
Associate Supreme Court Justices William Murphy and James Otis were each elected to another term.
|1964||President Lyndon Johnson carried Minnesota by 27.8 points which stands as the second biggest victory by a Democratic presidential nominee in state history behind Franklin Roosevelt’s 30.8-point win in 1936.
DFL U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy was reelected to a second term by 21.1 points – the largest victory to that point by a Democratic nominee for the office.
However, the DFL was not able to ride Lyndon Johnson’s coattails to make inroads in the state U.S. House delegation with all eight incumbents winning reelection – four Republicans and four DFLers.
Associate Supreme Court Justices Walter Rogosheske and Robert Sheran were each elected to another term.
|1966||The 1966 cycle saw the Republicans make big inroads into elected office in state offices: St. Paul attorney Harold LeVander unseated DFL Governor Karl Rolvaag, Winona radio station owner Jim Goetz won the open seat for Lieutenant Governor, Auditor Stafford King won a record 10th and final term, former state Representative Douglas Head won the open seat for Attorney General, Treasurer Val Bjornson was reelected to a seventh nonconsecutive term, and P.K. Peterson won the open seat (and last election) for Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner. The only DFL nominee to prevail was Secretary of State Joseph Donovan who won a sixth term.
The GOP also flipped one house seat with state Senate President John Zwach beating two-term 6th CD Congressman Alec Olson to hold a five to three seat advantage in the state delegation.
In elections to the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Martin Nelson won a fourth term while C. Donald Peterson ended Thomas Gallagher’s bid for a fifth term.
|1968||Democratic presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey did not get much of a home state advantage – carrying Minnesota by just a dozen points. His loss to Richard Nixon ended a streak of 12 consecutive elections in which the state cast its Electoral College votes for the winning presidential nominee.
The DFL won the first election to the renamed Public Service Commission with (previously named) Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Paul Rasmussen narrowly holding his seat.
Down the ballot, all five Republican and all three DFL U.S. Representatives were reelected to another term.
Associate Justice William Murphy was reelected to a fourth term on the Supreme Court.
|1970||Four major statewide offices changed partisan hands this cycle – three from Republican to DFL. Partisan control of the Governor’s office flipped for a state record fourth consecutive cycle with state Senator Wendell Anderson defeating Attorney General Douglas Head. The DFL flipped the open seat for Lieutenant Governor with Hibbing dentist Rudy Perpich winning the last standalone election for the office. Beginning in 1974, Governors would be elected with a Lieutenant Governor running mate on a single ticket. The DFL also flipped the open seat for Attorney General behind former state party chair Warren Spannaus. Republican state Representative Arlen Erdahl picked up the open seat for Secretary of State. Republican Treasurer Val Bjornson won an eighth and final nonconsecutive term and fellow party member Rolland Hatfield held the open Auditor seat. DFL Public Service Commissioner Ron Anderson was also reelected.
Former Vice-President Hubert Humphrey returned to the U.S. Senate with a decisive 16-point victory over Republican Congressman Clark MacGregor holding DFLer Eugene McCarthy’s seat.
In U.S. House elections, Bob Bergland unseated six-term Republican Congressman Odin Langen in the 7th CD to draw the DFL even with the GOP at four seats each in the state delegation.
In non-partisan races, Chief Justice Oscar Knutson and Associate Justice Walter Rogosheske were reelected to the Supreme Court.
|1972||Republican President Richard Nixon carried Minnesota by 5.5 points in what was the most narrowly decided presidential election across the country.
The DFL did pick up a seat on the Public Service Commission when former Governor Karl Rolvaag unseated P.K. Peterson. Following the 1972 election, seats on the Public Service Commission were filled via gubernatorial appointment.
U.S. Senator Walter Mondale emerged unscathed by the Nixon landslide with a double-digit win en route to a third term in the chamber.
All eight members of the U.S. House delegation – four Republicans and four DFLers – won reelection this cycle.
Associate Justices C. Donald Peterson and Fallon Kelly were each reelected to the Supreme Court without opposition.
|1973||Partisan elections for state legislative seats returned to the chamber for the first time since 1912 with the DFL winning two special elections to the state House that November (HD 50B, HD 61A).|
|1974||The DFL held the offices of Governor (Wendell Anderson) and Lieutenant Governor (Rudy Perpich) in the first cycle during which both seats appeared on the ballot as a single ticket. Governor Anderson would resign on December 29, 1976 after U.S. Senator Walter Mondale resigned to become Vice-President. Lieutenant Governor Rudy Perpich succeeded Anderson and then appointed him to Mondale’s vacant seat.
Democrats enjoyed a post-Watergate boost which translated into flipping three constitutional offices: Minnetonka state Representative Joan Anderson Growe defeated Secretary of State Arlen Erdahl, law student Bob Mattson, Jr. unseated Auditor Rolland Hatfield, and Chanhassen state Senator Jim Lord secured the open seat for Treasurer after the retirement of Val Bjornson. Attorney General Warren Spannaus held his seat making it a clean sweep for the DFL this cycle.
The DFL also picked up the open 6th CD behind Rick Nolan to win five of the eight U.S. House seats this cycle.
In the first general election cycle with partisan elections to the state legislature, the DFL won 104 of 134 seats which remains the high water mark for the party.
All five Associate Justices of the Supreme Court on the ballot this cycle were victorious: James Otis, Lawrence Yetka, John Todd, Harry MacLaughlin, and George Scott. Each justice except for Otis were appointed by Governor Anderson.
|1975||There was one special legislative election held in 1975 with Republican Nancy Brataas holding SD 33. The Rochester-based legislator was the second woman elected to the chamber in state history following Laura Emelia Naplin (1927-1935).
The Minnesota Republican Party changed its name to the Independent-Republican party in November 1975.
|1976||The 1976 cycle was the first following the Minnesota Republican Party changing its name to the Independent-Republican Party in November 1975. With native son U.S. Senator Walter Mondale as his running mate, Jimmy Carter carried Minnesota by a dozen points over President Gerald Ford in the beginning of what would eventually become a record run of victories outside of the South for Democratic presidential nominees.
DFLer Hubert Humphrey won a fifth nonconsecutive term by 42 points – the most lopsided U.S. Senate election in Minnesota history. Humphrey passed away in January 1978 and widow Muriel Humphrey was appointed to the seat.
Each party retained its respective U.S. House seats – five for the DFL, three for the Independent-Republicans.
The DFL emerged from the 1976 election holding 48 of 66 seats in the state Senate and 104 of 134 in the state House.
Chief Justice Robert Sheran and Associate Justice Walter Rogoscheske each won reelection to the Supreme Court without opposition.
|1977||The state’s fifth – and most recent – special U.S. House election was held in February 1977 to fill the 7th CD vacancy caused by the resignation of Democrat Bob Bergland to become the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The Independent-Republicans picked up the seat behind former state Representative Arlen Stangeland.
There were also five special state legislative elections held for vacant DFL seats. As a harbinger of the party’s success to come in 1978, the GOP picked up four of them: SD 21 in February, HD 21B in March, HD 22B in September, and HD 35A in December. The DFL held SD 49 in December.
|1978||The Independent-Republicans enjoyed their best election cycle in decades – making huge gains in executive and legislative contests. Al Quie and running mate Lou Wangberg defeated Governor Rudy Perpich and Lieutenant Governor Alec Olson. Down the ballot, GOP state Representative Arne Carlson defeated Auditor Bob Mattson, Jr. The DFL did hold three seats in St. Paul with Secretary of State Joan Anderson Growe, Attorney General Warren Spannaus, and Treasurer Jim Lord.
The GOP also flipped both U.S. Senate seats with Plymouth businessman Rudy Boschwitz defeating appointed U.S. Senate Wendell Anderson by 16 points and Minneapolis attorney Dave Durenberger winning the special election to Hubert Humphrey’s old seat by 26 points. Both parties retained control of their respective congressional districts (five for the GOP and three for the DFL).
The Independent-Republicans also gained 32 seats in the state House to draw even with a 67-67 tie for the subsequent legislature in January 1979.
Associate Justices C. Donald Peterson and Rosalie Wahl were elected to the Supreme Court. Wahl was the first woman to serve on and be elected to the Court in state history.
|1979||In special legislative elections, the DFL held two state Senate seats (SD 41 in June and SD 55 in November) and picked up one seat in the state House (HD 67A in June).|
|1980||The Carter/Mondale ticket shed nearly nine points off its victory margin from four years prior, but the Democrats carried Minnesota by 3.9 points.
Both parties retained control of their respective U.S. House seats with the Independent-Republicans winning five and the DFL three.
The DFL netted one state Senate seat for a 45-22 advantage in the chamber while and two in the state House for a 70-64 advantage.
All four Associate Justices were reelected to the Supreme Court: James Otis, Lawrence Yetka, George Scott, and John Todd.
|1981||In special legislative elections, the Independent-Republicans picked up one DFL-held seat in the state Senate (SD 20 in May) and held one seat in the state House (HD 32B in July).|
|1982||After a disastrous midterm cycle four years prior, the DFL responded with former Governor Rudy Perpich winning back his old job in the open seat race with Marlene Johnson on the ticket. Johnson became the first woman Lieutenant Governor in state history. Fellow DFLers Secretary of State Joan Anderson Growe won a third term, Skip Humphrey won the open seat for Attorney General, and former Auditor Bob Mattson, Jr. won the open seat for Treasurer. Auditor Arne Carlson was reelected and the only Independent-Republican to win a constitutional office.
After redistricting, the DFL flipped two U.S. House seats and to control five in the eight seat delegation: Tim Penny defeated Tom Hagedorn in the 1st CD and Gerry Sikorski unseated Arlen Erdahl in the 6th CD.
The DFL did lose two seats in the state Senate (still retaining a 44-23 advantage) while netting seven in the state House for a 77-57 partisan split over the GOP.
Appointed Associate Justice John Simonett won a full term to the Supreme Court.
|1983||The GOP gained one seat in the state House with a November 1983 special election victory in HD 08B to trim the DFL advantage in the chamber to 76-58.|
|1984||Although he lost the remaining 49 states, former Vice President Walter Mondale eked out a 0.18-point win to carry his home state of Minnesota for the second closest presidential contest in the history of the state.
Independent-Republican U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz easily won reelection to a second term over Secretary of State Joan Anderson Growe.
All eight members of the Minnesota U.S. House delegation – five DFLer and three Independent-Republicans – were reelected by double-digits.
The GOP also netted 11 districts in the state House to regain control by a 69-65 margin.
Appointed Chief Justice Douglas Amdahl, Associate Justices Rosalie Wahl and C. Donald Peterson, and appointed Associate Justices Glenn Kelley and Mary Jeanne Coyne all were victorious.
|1985||Just one legislative special election was conducted this year and the GOP held its seat in February's SD 08 contest.|
|1986||All but one incumbent rolled to victory in constitutional offices this cycle: the DFL gubernatorial ticket of Rudy Perpich and Marlene Johnson, DFL Secretary of State Joan Anderson Growe, Independent-Republican Auditor Arne Carlson, and DFL Attorney General Skip Humphrey. However, DFL Treasurer Bob Mattson, Jr. lost the party endorsement and nomination to Bloomington business consultant Michael McGrath who held the seat for the DFL in November.
For the second consecutive cycle all eight U.S. Representatives were reelected – five DFLers and three Independent-Republicans. The 7th rematch between incumbent Arlan Stangeland and Collin Peterson concluded with the narrowest victory margin to date in Minnesota history for the office (0.06 points).
The DFL netted four seats in the state Senate to increase their margin to 47-20 and netted 18 seats in the House for an 83-51 advantage.
Associate Justice George Scott won a third term to the Supreme Court without opposition.
|1987||The Independent-Republicans flipped two seats in three legislative elections caused by DFL resignations in November 1987, picking up SD 04 and HD 30B while the DFL held HD 65A.|
|1988||The state backed a Democrat for president for the fourth consecutive cycle with Michael Dukakis at the top of the ticket.
Down ballot, Independent-Republican U.S. Senator Dave Durenberger had little trouble winning reelection to a third term.
Meanwhile there was no turnover in the U.S. House delegation with five DFL and three GOP incumbents winning reelection for a third consecutive cycle.
Republicans netted one seat in the state House as the DFL maintained a large 81-53 seat margin.
Associate Justice John Simonett was reelected to the Supreme Court for a third term without opposition.
|1989||Independent-Republicans flipped one of two special elections to the state House conducted this year caused by DFL resignations – winning HD 52A in February and losing HD 63B in November.|
|1990||The DFL gubernatorial ticket of Rudy Perpich and Marlene Johnson failed in their attempt for an unprecedented third consecutive four-year term – but not without drama. Auditor Arne Carlson lost the GOP primary to Afton businessman Jon Gruseth. Carlson began a write-in campaign for the office as news reports surfaced that Gruseth had engaged in a long-time extramarital affair. Gruseth eventually withdrew in late October and Carlson and his running mate Joanell Dyrstad defeated the Perpich ticket with a plurality of the vote.
Meanwhile, DFL Secretary of State Joan Anderson Growe won a fifth term, DFL Attorney General Skip Humphrey won a third term, and DFL Treasurer Michael McGrath was reelected to a second term. The DFL also picked up Carlson’s open Auditor seat behind nominee Mark Dayton.
The DFL also made gains in federal races with political science professor Paul Wellstone unseating two-term GOP U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz. Meanwhile, the DFL picked up a seat in the 7th CD when former state Senator Collin Peterson defeated seven-term Independent-Republican Arlan Stangeland in his third attempt against the lawmaker since 1984. The DFL emerged from the cycle with a party record six seats in the eight-member delegation. It was the first time either party held six seats since the GOP won six of nine seats during the 1960 cycle.
The DFL also netted two state Senate seats to increase their margin in the chamber to 46-21. There was no partisan change in the state House where the DFL retained 80 of the 134 seats.
Associate Supreme Court Justices Rosalie Wahl, Mary Jeanne Coyne, and Sandy Keith were all elected to another term.
|1991||Independent-Republicans picked off two DFL-held state House seats caused by resignations (HD 50B in February and HD 47A in December) and held one of their own (HD 32B in February).|
|1992||In April, Minnesota held its first presidential primary since 1956 with eventual nominees George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton coming out on top. In November, Clinton won by double-digits with independent Ross Perot claiming nearly 24 percent of the vote. It was the fifth consecutive win in Minnesota for a Democratic presidential ticket, tying the party record set from 1932-1948.
Two U.S. House seats flipped partisan control: DFLer David Minge won Vin Weber’s open 2nd CD seat and Independent-Republican Rod Grams defeated five-term incumbent Gerry Sikorski in the 6th CD. The DFL maintained control of six of the eight congressional districts.
The GOP netted one seat in the state Senate to cut the DFL advantage to 45-22 but the DFL netted seven seats in the state House to control 86 of the 134 seats. Three appointed justices were victorious (Chief Justice Sandy Keith and Associate Justices Sandra Gardebring and Esther Tomljanovich) while former NFL star Alan Page won a rare open seat on the Supreme Court.
|1993||Independent-Republicans picked up two seats in special elections to the state House following DFL resignations: HD 44B in January and HD 01B in July.|
|1994||The Republican Revolution of 1994 left a moderate footprint on major offices in Minnesota. Governor Arne Carlson easily won reelection with his new running mate Joanne Benson and Minneapolis attorney Judi Dutcher won the open seat for state Auditor. But three incumbent DFLers were all reelected to what would be their final terms: the sixth for Secretary of State Joan Anderson Growe, the fourth for Attorney General Skip Humphrey, and the third for Treasurer Michael McGrath.
Congressman Rod Grams held the open U.S. Senate seat for his party with a plurality of the vote after the retirement of scandal-plagued three-term Independent-Republican Dave Durenberger.
For the second consecutive cycle, the two parties each picked up one U.S. House seat. The IR flipped Tim Penny’s open 1st CD behind state Representative Gil Gutknecht and the DFL captured Rod Gram’s open 6th CD with state Senator Bill Luther as their nominee.
The GOP also netted 13 seats in the state House to reduce the DFL advantage to 71-63.
|1995||Following the success of the 1994 Republican revolution, the Independent-Republican Party changed its name back to the Minnesota Republican Party at the state party convention held on September 23, 1994.
In 1995, five special state legislative elections were held and the GOP flipped two: HD 49B in April and HD 52A in July.
|1996||There was little partisan change in Minnesota during the 1996 cycle. The Democratic presidential ticket of Bill Clinton and Al Gore cruised to a 16-point victory – carrying the state for a party-record the sixth consecutive win.
U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone won a second term defeating his predecessor Rudy Boschwitz in a rematch of the 1990 race.
All eight members of Minnesota’s U.S. House delegation were reelected – six DFLers and three Republicans.
There was no change in DFL control of the state Senate (42-24 with one independent) and the DFL netted one seat in the state House (bringing their advantage to 70-64).
Appointed Associate Justices Paul H. Anderson and Edward Stringer were each elected to the Supreme Court.
|1997||There was one lone state legislative special election this year with the DFL holding HD 11B in November.|
|1998||In what was a November to remember, there was turnover in all but one constitutional office in the state. The headline came from the top of the ticket where the state elected the first third-party governor in more than 60 years when Reform Party nominee Jesse Ventura and running mate Mae Schunk eked out a 2.7-point victory over Republican St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman with sitting Attorney General Skip Humphrey in third. The last gubernatorial victory by a third-party nominee came in 1936 (Farmer-Laborite Elmer Benson).
For the Republicans, Big Lake nurse Mary Kiffmeyer flipped the open seat for Secretary of State and Auditor Judi Dutcher was reelected to a second term. Former state DFL party chair Mike Hatch held Humphrey’s open Attorney General seat as did Carol Johnson in winning the open seat for Treasurer. Johnson was the first women Treasurer in Minnesota history, although the office was abolished effective January 6, 2003 following the passage of a 1998 constitutional amendment.
All eight Minnesota U.S. Representatives were reelected to another term – six DFLers and two Republicans.
Republicans flipped the state House with a 71-63 margin by netting seven seats in the general election. It was the first time the GOP controlled the chamber since January 1987.
Associate Justice Alan Page was reelected to the Supreme Court for a second term.
|1999||Four special elections were conducted in the state Senate in 1999 to fill vacancies for DFL seats with Republicans flipping two of them: SD 26 in March and SD 32 in April. The DFL held the lone vacant state House seat for which a special election was conducted.|
|2000||On January 17, 2000 Auditor Judi Dutcher switched her partisan affiliation from Republican to the DFL.
Democrats carried Minnesota in a presidential election for a party record seventh consecutive cycle with the ticket of Vice President Al Gore and Connecticut U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman.
The DFL regained control of both U.S. Senate seats for the first time in over 20 years when former Auditor Mark Dayton defeated one-term Republican Rod Grams. Down the ballot, the GOP picked up one U.S. House seat when Mark Kennedy edged four-term Congressman David Minge by 0.05 points – the most narrowly decided election for the office in Minnesota history. The DFL retained a 5-3 advantage in the state U.S. House delegation.
Republicans netted one state Senate seat slightly closing the large 39-27 DFL majority with one senator identifying with the Independence Party. The DFL gained two House seats but the GOP still maintained a 69-65 majority.
Four appointed justices were victorious in Supreme Court elections: Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz and Associate Justices James Gilbert, Joan Ericksen Lancaster, and Russell Anderson.
|2001||Republicans flipped the one state legislative election held in 2001 – winning HD 12B in November.|
|2002||Governor Ventura became just the third Minnesota Governor since World War II to not seek a second term joining Republicans Harold LeVander (1970) and Al Quie (1982). Eagan Republican Representative Tim Pawlenty and running mate state Representative Carol Molnau won the open seats for Governor and Lieutenant Governor while Eagan Mayor Pat Anderson held the open Auditor seat for the GOP as did Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer. [Anderson's win was technically a pick-up as 1998 general election winner Judi Dutcher switched her partisan affiliation from Republican to DFL in January 2000]. DFL Attorney General Mike Hatch comfortably won reelection.
Two-term U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone was renominated by the DFL, but died in a plane crash 11 days before the general election. The party substituted Walter Mondale for Wellstone on the ballot, but St. Paul Mayor and Republican nominee Norm Coleman won the open seat.
After redistricting, the Republican Party was also able to pick up one U.S. House seat with John Kline unseating four-term 6th CD incumbent Bill Luther who chose to run in the 2nd CD. The GOP drew even with the DFL with each sending four U.S. Representatives to D.C.
Republicans netted five seats in the state Senate to shrink the DFL margin to 35-31 with one member of the Independence Party and netted 10 in the state House to open up an 81-52 margin on the DFL in the lower chamber.
Associate Justice Paul Anderson was elected to the Supreme Court for a third term.
|2003||Four special elections to the state House were held in 2003 – all vacancies for Republican-held seats – and the DFL picked up one of them (HD 52B in February).|
|2004||The Democratic presidential ticket of U.S. Senators John Kerry and John Edwards carried Minnesota – the eighth consecutive win for the party in the state.
All eight Minnesota U.S. Representatives were reelected this cycle – four DFLers and four Republicans.
The DFL netted 13 state House seats to whittle the GOP margin in the chamber to 68-66.
All three incumbent Associate Justices of the Supreme Court were victorious – Alan Page and appointed Justices Helen Meyer and Sam Hanson.
|2005||Special elections were conducted in 2005 for three state Senate seats to fill vacancies caused by Republican resignations. The DFL flipped two of these districts: SD 43 in November and SD 15 in December. The DFL held its seat for the lone special election conducted for the House of Representatives (HD 15B in December).|
|2006||The 2006 was a big cycle for the DFL, although the party faltered at the top of the ticket. Governor Tim Pawlenty and Lieutenant Governor Carol Molnau eked out a win by less than a point over Attorney General Mike Hatch and former Auditor Judi Dutcher. However, the DFL picked up two constitutional offices: Mark Ritchie, president of an agriculture non-profit, unseated Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer and St. Croix small business owner Rebecca Otto defeated Auditor Pat Anderson. State Solicitor General Lori Swanson held the open seat for Attorney General for the DFL.
U.S. Senator Mark Dayton did not run for reelection but the seat remained in the DFL column with Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar as the nominee. Klobchuar was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate in state history.
The DFL flipped the 1st CD with Tim Walz knocking six-term Congressman Gil Gutknecht out of office to give the party five of the state’s eight seats.
The DFL also netted six seats in the state Senate to expand their margin over the Republican Party to 44-23 and netted 19 seats in the state House to regain control of the chamber by a margin of 85-49.
Appointed Associate Justice Barry Anderson won election to the Supreme Court without opposition.
|2007||Republicans held the seat for the only state legislative special election conducted in 2007 (HD 28B in August).|
|2008||Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and running mate Joe Biden led the DFL to its ninth consecutive win in Minnesota.
The real drama took place down the ballot in which a recount and election contest in the U.S. Senate race led to more than a six-month vacancy in the state’s Class II seat. DFL comedian Al Franken was eventually declared the winner over one-term incumbent Norm Coleman by just 312 votes.
No U.S. House seats changed partisan control this cycle with the DFL retaining a five to three seat advantage.
The DFL netted two seats and started the new legislature with an overwhelming majority of 87-47.
Associate Justice Paul Anderson and appointed Associate Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea each won election to a full term.
|2010||The 2010 cycle was one of the most unusual in Minnesota history with the DFL sweeping all five constitutional offices and Republicans decisively taking back control of both state legislative chambers.
Former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton and running mate and state Senator Yvette Prettner-Solon ended a five-cycle DFL gubernatorial losing streak – one of the longest Democratic droughts for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor in the nation. Their victory over state Representative Tom Emmer and running mate Annette Meeks was the second closest gubernatorial race in Minnesota history at 0.42 points. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Auditor Rebecca Otto, and Attorney General Lori Swanson were reelected to complete the DFL sweep.
But Republicans scored a major upset in the 8th CD when Chip Cravaack unseated Transportation Committee Chair Jim Oberstar – the longest serving member of congress in Minnesota history at 36 years. The remaining seven incumbents were reelected leaving each party with four seats in the 112th Congress.
The GOP also gained 16 seats in the state Senate to take control of the chamber with a 37-30 seat margin and netted 25 seats in the state House to flip the chamber with a 72-62 margin.
Associate Justices Alan Page, Helen Meyer, and Christopher Dietzen were each elected to full terms.
|2011||There were four special legislative elections conducted in 2011 for vacancies of DFL seats – three in the Senate and one in the House. The DFL held all four seats.|
|2012||Barack Obama and Joe Biden carried Minnesota – the 10th consecutive victory for a Democratic presidential nominee in the state. Minnesota became the first state in which both the Republican and Democratic parties have recorded 10-cycle winning streaks for the office.
DFL U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar was reelected to a second term by 34.7 points - the second largest victory margin in state history for the office behind DFLer Hubert Humphrey's 42.5-point victory in 1976.
The DFL also took back the 8th CD when former U.S. Representative Rick Nolan defeated freshman Chip Cravaack. The remaining seven incumbents were victorious leaving the DFL with a 5-3 majority in the delegation.
One cycle after losing control of both chambers, the DFL gained each of them back. The party netted nine seats for a 39-28 margin in the state Senate and 11 seats for a 73-61 margin in the state House.
Associate Justice Barry Anderson and appointed Associate Justice Davis Stras were both elected to another term.
|2013||Two special elections for the state House were conducted in 2013 with the DFL and GOP holding their respective seats.|
|2014||For the first time in party history, the DFL swept all constitutional offices for two consecutive cycles. Governor Mark Dayton (and new running mate Tina Smith), Auditor Rebecca Otto, and Attorney General Lori Swanson were reelected while state Representative Steve Simon held Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s open seat.
DFL U.S. Senator Al Franken defeated Sunfish Lake investment banker Mike McFadden by double digits.
There was no partisan turnover in the eight congressional districts with all seven incumbents winning reelection and former Republican state Representative Tom Emmer taking over Michele Bachmann’s open seat. The DFL maintained a 5-3 majority in the state delegation.
For the third consecutive cycle, the majority party could not retain power of the state House. Republicans netted 11 seats to gain a 72-62 advantage at the convening of the next legislature in 2015.
Appointed Associate Supreme Court Justices David Lillehaug and Wilhelmina Wright were elected to another term.
|2015||Two special elections to the state House were held to fill vacancy for DFL seats in 2015 and the DFL held each of them.|
|2016||Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine carried Minnesota by 1.5 points – the closest race for president in the state since 1984. With the victory, Minnesota became the first state outside of the South in which the Democratic Party has won 11 consecutive presidential elections.
There was no partisan turnover in the state’s eight congressional districts with the DFL maintaining a 5-3 majority in the state delegation.
Republicans netted six state Senate seats to eke out a 34-33 majority and flip the chamber. The GOP also gained three seats in the state House to build their majority to 76-57 with one vacancy at the convening of the new legislature.
Appointed Associate Justice Natalie Hudson was elected to the Supreme Court for a full term.
|2017||One special election to the state House was conducted in 2017 with the GOP holding its vacant seat.|
|2018||The DFL swept all constitutional offices for a party record third consecutive cycle with all but one of these elections for an open seat. Congressman Tim Walz and state Representative Peggy Flanagan held the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor for the party with Secretary of State Steve Simon reelected to a second term, Ramsey math teacher Julie Blaha elected Auditor, and Congressman Keith Ellison elected Attorney General. This was the first cycle in Minnesota history in which Democrats won back-to-back gubernatorial elections without an incumbent.
Minnesota’s U.S. House delegation witnessed its biggest shake-up in decades with four seats switching partisan hands: Republican Jim Hagedorn flipped Walz’s open 1st CD, DFLer Angie Craig unseated freshman Jason Lewis in the 2nd CD, Dean Phillips defeated five-term Republican Erik Paulsen in the 3rd CD, and Republican Pete Stauber flipped Rick Nolan’s open 8th CD.
For the fourth time in five cycles there was a change in partisan control of the state House with the DFL netting 18 seats and gaining a 75-59 majority over the GOP.
All four incumbents won their respective elections for the Supreme Court: Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea, Associate Justice Barry Anderson, and appointed Associate Justices Margaret Chutich and Anne McKeig.
|2019||Republicans won both special state legislative elections held in 2019 – picking up SD 11 in February and holding HD 11B in March.|
|2020||The presidential primary returned to Minnesota for the first time in 28 years for its fourth iteration. Republican President Donald Trump was victorious without opposition and former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden defeated Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders by 8.8 points with a boost from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar who exited the race and endorsed Biden on the eve of the primary.
In the general election, Democrats carried Minnesota for the 12 consecutive cycle, extending its longest-outside-the-South streak for the party and moving into a tie for party's eighth longest all-time streak. Senator Tina Smith was also victorious in her reelection bid to extend the DFL's winning streak in statewide elections to a party record 22 in a row dating back to 2008. Former Republican state Senator and Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach knocked Blue Dog Democrat Collin Peterson out of office in the 7th CD. The state elected four GOP U.S. Representatives to D.C. for the first time since the 112th Congress (2011-2013). Appointed Associate Supreme Court Justice Paul Thissen was easily elected while the DFL and GOP each held onto power in the state House and state Senate respectively.