Minnesota gubernatorial election, 1998

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Minnesota gubernatorial election, 1998
Minnesota
1994 ←
November 3, 1998 → 2002

  Jesse Ventura.jpg Norm Coleman, official photo portrait, 2006.jpg
Nominee Jesse Ventura Norman Coleman Hubert Humphrey III
Party Reform Republican DFL
Running mate Mae Schunk Gen Olson Roger Moe
Popular vote 773,713 717,350 587,528
Percentage 36.99% 34.29% 28.09%

Minnesota Governor 1998.png

County Results

Governor before election

Arne Carlson
Republican

Elected Governor

Jesse Ventura
Reform

The 1998 Minnesota gubernatorial election took place on November 3, 1998. Reform Party candidate Jesse Ventura defeated Republican Party challenger Norm Coleman and Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party challenger Hubert H. "Skip" Humphrey III. Ventura governed with a DFL-controlled state Senate and a Republican-controlled state House.

Ventura's victory as a third party candidate was considered a historic major upset. He ran on the Reform Party ticket, a party which was founded by two-time presidential candidate Ross Perot who had received 23% of the vote in Minnesota the 1992 presidential election and 12% in the 1996 election.[1]

Candidates[edit]

DFL[edit]

Republican[edit]

  • Norm Coleman: Won the Republican nomination for governor, by winning the primary with token opposition.[2] He is the Mayor of St. Paul. He was elected mayor in 1993 as a Democrat with almost 55% of the vote. In 1996, he switched parties to become a Republican after years of heat from his party.[3] He won re-election as mayor in the heavily liberal city (70% registered Democrats) with almost 59% of the vote in 1997.
  • Bill Dahn: Retired auto mechanic, around the same age as Coleman.[4]

Reform[edit]

Other independents[edit]

Primary results (Sept. 15)[edit]

Democratic[edit]

Democratic Primary results[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Skip Humphrey 154,037 37%
Democratic Mike Freeman 78,895 19%
Democratic Doug Johnson (politician) 78,041 19%
Democratic Mark Dayton 74,706 18%
Democratic Ted Mondale 29,749 7%
Invalid or blank votes  %
Totals ' 100%
Voter turnout  %

Republican[edit]

Republican Primary results[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Norm Coleman 107,989 91%
Republican Bill Dahn 10,505 9%
Invalid or blank votes  %
Totals 118,494 100%
Voter turnout  %

General election[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Ventura spent around $300,000 and combined it with an aggressive grassroots campaign that featured a statewide bus tour, pioneered use of the Internet for political purposes, and aired quirky TV ads designed by Bill Hillsman, who forged the phrase “Don’t vote for politics as usual.”[5] Unable to afford many television ads, Ventura mainly focused on televised debates and public appearances, preaching his brand of libertarian politics. His speech at a parade in rural Minnesota during the summer attracted what organizers of the annual event described as one of its largest audiences. He ran on cutting taxes, reducing state government, and reducing public school classroom sizes to a 17 to 1 ratio. He also supported a public debate on the viability of legalized prostitution.[6]

Polling[edit]

A poll taken in June showed that Coleman would defeat any other Democratic candidate than Humphrey. But Humphrey would defeat Coleman 44% to 34%. However, Ventura polled in the double digits. No other candidate in the Reform party's brief history in Minnesota has received more than 5 percent of the votes in a statewide election.[7] Following the primary election in September, a poll on October 20 showed Humphrey leading 35% to Coleman (34%) and Ventura (21%). But the Star Tribune poll suggested that Ventura's surge with the voters had come mostly at Humphrey's expense. Since the primary, Humphrey's support among likely voters had dropped by 14 percentage points, while Coleman's had increased by 5 percentage points.[8]

Results[edit]

1998 Gubernatorial Election, Minnesota
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Reform Jesse Ventura 773,713 36.99% n/a
Republican Norm Coleman 717,350 34.29% -29.04%
DFL Hubert H. "Skip" Humphrey III 587,528 28.09% -6.02%
Green Ken Pentel 7,034 0.34% n/a
Libertarian Frank Germann 1,932 0.09% -0.80%
Grassroots Chris Wright 1,727 0.08% -1.12%
People's Champion Fancy Ray McCloney 919 0.04% n/a
Socialist Workers Thomas Fiske 787 0.04% -0.14%
Write-ins 776 n/a
Majority 56,363 2.69%
Turnout 2,091,766 60%
Reform gain from Republican Swing

Results Breakdown[edit]

By county:[9][10]

County Coleman Votes Humphrey Votes Ventura Votes Others Votes
Aitkin 31.6% 2,447 30.3% 2,347 37.4% 2,897 0.6% 47
Anoka 29.3% 37,111 19.7% 24,975 50.7% 64,100 0.3% 363
Becker 41.4% 5,030 35.7% 4,349 22.4% 2,721 0.5% 62
Beltrami 39.8% 5,872 35.9% 5,289 23.0% 3,387 1.3% 195
Benton 33.2% 4,388 20.8% 2,750 45.6% 6,027 0.4% 47
Big Stone 31.9% 912 40.0% 1,144 27.5% 786 0.5% 15
Blue Earth 30.9% 7,031 24.9% 5,666 43.8% 9,973 0.6% 111
Brown 35.4% 5,150 21.2% 2,417 33.3% 3,794 0.4% 44
Carlton 31.0% 3,929 42.9% 5,439 25.5% 3,226 0.6% 70
Carver 39.9% 11,479 16.1% 4,621 43.8% 12,606 0.3% 88
Cass 32.0% 4,781 28.1% 3,288 28.7% 3,268 0.5% 55
Chippewa 38.3% 1,721 34.0% 2,064 37.4% 2,271 0.3% 19
Chisago 28.0% 5,376 18.9% 3,621 52.8% 10,138 0.4% 71
Clay 34.7% 6,200 43.5% 7,766 21.8% 3,797 0.5% 91
Clearwater 44.8% 1,439 35.0% 1,124 19.5% 625 0.7% 24
Cook 38.6 1,010 39.6% 1,046 18.0% 474 3.8% 100
Cottonwood 39.6% 2,420 30.8% 1,884 29.2 1,788 0.5% 29
Crow Wing 39.7% 9,559 26.0% 6,257 33.9% 8,162 0.4% 104
Dakota 37.3% 56,242 22.0% 33,253 40.4% 60,909 0.3% 484
Dodge 37.4% 2,619 21.2% 1,484 41.0% 2,867 0.4% 27
Douglas 42.1% 6,323 23.3% 3,503 34.3% 5,162 0.3% 41
Faribault 34.2% 2,778 29.3% 2,382 36.0% 2,923 0.4% 34
Fillmore 39.7% 3,359 33.4% 2,823 26.2% 2,219 0.7% 56
Freeborn 39.5% 5,463 33.3% 4,605 26.9% 3,706 0.5% 65
Goodhue 33.9% 6,786 22.7% 4,547 43.0% 8,610 0.5% 92
Grant 30.6% 1,055 31.6% 1,089 37.5% 1,294 0.3% 10
Hennepin 31.9% 155,311 30.2% 147,059 36.9% 179,954 1.0% 4,778
Houston 48.8% 3,616 37.7% 2,797 12.0% 891 1.5% 111
Hubbard 42.6% 3,697 30.1% 2,609 26.7% 2,317 0.7% 57
Isanti 27.3% 3,719 19.6% 2,665 52.9% 7,209 0.3% 36
Itasca 37.8% 7,181 41.6% 7,911 19.8% 3,768 0.8% 143
Jackson 34.9% 1,796 33.5% 1,728 31.1% 1,605 0.5% 24
Kanabec 29.0% 1,895 21.1% 1,374 49.6% 3,238 0.3% 17
Kandiyohi 34.5% 6,287 29.3% 5,337 35.9% 6,530 0.2% 45
Kittson 32.2% 757 50.3% 1,185 16.5% 389 1.0% 23
Koochiching 46.4% 2,721 34.9% 2,347 18.1% 1,064 0.56% 31
Lac Qui 27.6% 1,133 39.5% 1,621 32.4% 1,330 0.4% 16
Lake 30.1% 1,766 42.2% 2,472 26.4% 1,545 1.3% 75
LOTW 41.5% 837 42.2% 852 14.3% 288 2.1% 41
Le Sueur 30.4% 3,582 22.2% 2,614 47.1% 5,551 0.3% 35
Lincoln 36.4% 1,129 36.7% 1,136 26.3% 815 0.6% 18
Lyon 39.1% 4,043 28.7% 2,966 31.7% 3,277 0.6% 66
McLeod 30.9% 4,754 15.9% 2,449 52.8% 8,126 0.3% 50
Mahnomen 41.8% 821 36.5% 716 20.7% 406 1.1% 21
Marshall 40.5 1,959 41.5% 2,008 17.2% 834 0.8% 38
Martin 38.8% 3,676 26.7% 2,534 34.2% 3,243 0.2% 23
Meeker 31.3% 3,320 19.7% 2,083 48.6% 5,153 0.4% 39
Mille Lacs 31.0% 2,898 21.4% 1,998 47.2% 4,404 0.4% 39
Morrison 40.6% 5,377 21.9% 2,899 37.0% 4,905 0.6% 78
Mower 34.9% 5,529 39.3% 6,234 25.2% 3,990 0.7% 111
Murray 38.7% 1,819 34.5% 1,620 26.2% 1,233 0.6% 30
Nicollet 33.2% 4,345 25.9% 3,384 40.3% 5,272 0.6% 78
Nobles 39.0% 3,265 31.8% 2,664 28.7% 2,404 0.4% 34
Norman 31.4% 1,024 49.7% 1,621 18.3% 596 0.6% 19
Olmsted 26.8% 19,480 30.4% 12,205 30.1% 13,710 0.4% 199
Otter Tail 45.0% 10,785 29.1% 6,982 25.3% 6,069 0.5% 116
Pennington 38.8% 2,226 39.3% 2,253 21.4% 1,226 0.6% 35
Pine 26.9% 2,869 25.6% 2,730 47.1% 5,027 0.4% 48
Pipestone 46.8% 2,127 35.7% 1,621 16.6% 752 0.9% 43
Polk 40.7% 4,462 43.5% 2,347 15.5% 1,699 0.4% 44
Pope 33.6% 1,954 32.9% 1,738 36.1% 2,099 0.3% 17
Ramsey 32.4% 69,240 32.1% 68,619 34.6% 73,993 0.8% 1,714
Red Lake 39.6% 842 43.3% 920 16.0% 339 1.1% 24
Redwood 42.8% 3,140 22.5% 1,654 34.5% 2,533 0.2% 17
Renville 30.7% 2,514 25.4% 2,079 43.7% 3,583 0.3% 24
Rice 29.7% 6,732 28.5% 6,518 41.3% 9,444 0.7% 170
Rock 47.7% 1,832 36.1% 1,384 15.5% 596 0.7% 25
Roseau 49.8% 2,975 31.2% 1,863 18.1% 1,081 1.0% 57
St. Louis 28.1% 24,439 47.3% 41,208 23.8% 20,682 0.8% 17
Scott 34.9% 12,075 16.7% 5,787 48.1% 16,612 0.3% 97
Sherburne 32.1% 8,139 16.4% 4,163 51.2% 13,004 0.3% 73
Sibley 32.1% 2,261 17.9% 1,262 49.7% 3,497 0.3% 24
Stearns 38.5% 20,731 21.7% 11,696 39.2% 21,116 0.6% 320
Steele 38.5% 5,399 21.6% 3,022 39.7% 5,559 0.3% 37
Stevens 40.7% 2,052 29.9% 1,507 28.9% 1,455 0.5% 25
Swift 26.7% 1,410 35.1% 1,852 38.0% 2,006 0.2% 11
Todd 39.3% 4,293 22.4% 2,426 37.9% 4,146 0.5% 60
Traverse 34.3% 733 33.7% 733 31.5% 674 0.7% 14
Wabasha 35.8% 3,363 23.6% 2,221 40.2% 3,776 0.4% 41
Wadena 43.1% 2,563 25.9% 1,537 30.3% 1,782 1.1% 63
Waseca 35.8% 3,064 22.3% 1,904 41.4% 3,543 0.5% 42
Washington 35.8% 32,565 22.2% 20,205 41.7% 37,910 0.3% 300
Watonwan 33.4% 1,711 27.9% 1,429 38.3% 1,965 0.4% 19
Wilkin 43.2% 1,181 32.6% 892 23.4% 639 0.8% 22
Winona 42.9% 7,856 33.7% 6,176 22.1% 4,039 1.3% 235
Wright 32.1% 11,957 16.2% 6,027 51.4% 19,124 0.3% 106
Yellow 29.8% 1,628 33.7% 1,838 36.0% 1,966 0.5% 25
Totals 34.29% 717,350 28.09% 587,528 36.99% 773,713 0.63% 13,175

References[edit]

External links[edit]