United States presidential election in Minnesota, 2004

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United States presidential election in Minnesota, 2004
Minnesota
2000 ←
November 2, 2004
→ 2008

  John F. Kerry.jpg George-W-Bush.jpeg
Nominee John Kerry George W. Bush
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Massachusetts Texas
Running mate John Edwards Dick Cheney
Electoral vote 9 [a] 0
Popular vote 1,445,014 1,346,695
Percentage 51.09% 47.61%

Minnesota Presidential Election Results by County, 2004.svg

County Results
  Kerry—60-70%
  Kerry—50-60%
  Kerry—<50%
  Bush—<50%
  Bush—50-60%
  Bush—60-70%

President before election

George W. Bush
Republican

Elected President

George W. Bush
Republican

The 2004 United States presidential election in Minnesota took place on November 2, 2004 throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia, which was part of the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Voters chose 10 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

Minnesota was won by Democrat nominee John Kerry by a 3.5% margin of victory. Prior to the election, most news organizations considered it as a major swing state in 2004 based on pre-election polling. The state is historically a blue state, as the last Republican to carry the state in a presidential election was Richard Nixon in 1972. However, in 2000 Al Gore carried the state with just 48% of the vote, by a margin of just 2.5%. In 2004, Minnesota was the only state to split its electoral votes, as a faithless elector pledged to Kerry cast a ballot for John R. Edwards, his running mate.

Primaries[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Predictions[edit]

There were 12 news organizations who made state by state predictions of the election. Here are their last predictions before election day.[1]

  1. D.C. Political Report: Slight Democrat
  2. Associated Press: Leans Kerry
  3. CNN: Kerry
  4. Cook Political Report: Toss Up
  5. Newsweek: Toss Up
  6. New York Times: Toss Up
  7. Rasmussen Reports: Toss Up
  8. Research 2000: Lean Kerry
  9. Washington Post: Battleground
  10. Washington Times: Battleground
  11. Zogby International: Kerry
  12. Washington Dispatch: Kerry

Polling[edit]

Minnesota was considered a swing state based on its tight poll numbers. In early 2004, Kerry was leading in every poll against Bush, sometimes even reaching 50%. However in the summer, Kerry was still leading in most of the polls but the gap was very small. It wasn't until late October when Bush was leading him. In the last poll by Rasmussen Reports, Kerry won with 48% to 47%, but left a lot of undecided voters. In the last 3 polling average, Kerry lead 49% to 47%, but with Bush winning 2 of 3.[2] The last poll average by Real Clear Politics showed Kerry leading 49% to 45%.[3] Overall polls showed a lot of undecided voters. On election day, Kerry won with 51% of the vote.

Fundraising[edit]

Bush raised $2,507,181.[4] Kerry raised $2,635,150.[5]

Advertising and visits[edit]

Both tickets visited the state 7 times.[6] A total of $1 million to $3 million was spent each week.[7]

Analysis[edit]

Minnesota is the most consistent blue state in the nation, giving a Democrat its electors in presidential elections since 1976, even in Ronald Reagan's landslide victories. Although in 2000, Al Gore won Minnesota with barely 48% of the vote. Richard Nixon is the last Republican to carry the state in a presidential election. Nixon carried the state in the 1972 election with just 52% of the vote, his second weakest performance in the nation. Only in Massachusetts did Nixon perform weaker as he obtained just 45% in the only state he lost that election.

In 2004, the county results were fairly uniform across the state; only a handful of counties had either Bush or Kerry getting over 60% of the vote, and no county had either candidate with over 70% of the vote. Despite winning the state, Kerry won just three of eight congressional districts: Minnesota's 4th congressional district, Minnesota's 5th congressional district, and Minnesota's 8th congressional district.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Minnesota, 2004
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Party John Kerry 1,445,014 51.09% 9
Republican Party George W. Bush (Inc.) 1,346,695 47.61% 0
Independent Ralph Nader 18,683 0.66% 0
Libertarian Party Michael Badnarik 4,639 0.16% 0
Green Party David Cobb 4,408 0.16% 0
Constitution Party Michael Peroutka 3,074 0.11% 0
Independent Write Ins 2,530 0.09% 0
Christian Freedom Party Thomas Harens 2,387 0.08% 0
Socialist Equality Party Bill Van Auken 539 0.02% 0
Socialist Workers Party Roger Calero 416 0.01% 0
Socialist Party USA (Write-in) Walt Brown (Write-in) 2 0.00% 0
Democratic Party John Edwards 0 0.00% 1
Totals 2,828,387 100.00% 10
Voter Turnout (Voting Age Population) 74.2%

Results breakdown[edit]

By county[edit]

County Kerry% Kerry# Bush% Bush# Others% Others#
Aitkin 48.0% 4,539 50.4% 4,768 1.5% 145
Anoka 46.1% 80,226 52.8% 91,853 1.1% 1,987
Becker 40.2% 6,756 58.3% 9,795 1.5% 250
Beltrami 50.1% 10,592 48.4% 10,237 1.4% 302
Benton 43.8% 8,059 54.6% 10,043 1.5% 282
Big Stone 50.1% 1,536 48.4% 1,483 1.6% 48
Blue Earth 50.9% 16,865 47.5% 15,737 1.6% 517
Brown 37.4% 5,158 60.8% 8,395 1.6% 225
Carlton 62.5% 11,462 36.2% 6,642 1.3% 230
Carver 36.2% 16,456 62.8% 28,510 1.0% 445
Cass 43.0% 6,835 55.8% 8,875 1.3% 200
Chippewa 51.8% 3,424 46.8% 3,089 1.4% 93
Chisago 43.2% 12,219 55.6% 15,705 1.2% 336
Clay 46.8% 12,989 51.8% 14,365 1.4% 383
Clearwater 42.9% 1,871 55.9% 2,438 1.2% 52
Cook 52.5% 1,733 45.1% 1,489 2.5% 81
Cottonwood 42.8% 2,726 55.8% 3,557 1.4% 86
Crow Wing 41.7% 14,005 57.0% 19,106 1.3% 434
Dakota 48.5% 104,635 50.5% 108,959 1.0% 2,252
Dodge 41.7% 4,117 56.7% 5,593 1.6% 158
Douglas 40.5% 8,219 58.1% 11,793 1.5% 297
Faribault 43.4% 3,767 55.2% 4,794 1.4% 120
Fillmore 49.8% 5,825 48.7% 5,694 1.5% 179
Freeborn 55.1% 9,733 43.5% 7,681 1.4% 252
Goodhue 47.3% 12,103 51.3% 13,134 1.4% 371
Grant 48.6% 1,856 49.6% 1,893 1.8% 70
Hennepin 59.3% 383,841 39.4% 255,133 1.2% 8,007
Houston 47.6% 5,276 50.8% 5,631 1.6% 175
Hubbard 41.8% 4,741 56.8% 6,444 1.4% 155
Isanti 40.8% 7,883 57.9% 11,190 1.2% 240
Itasca 54.5% 13,290 43.9% 10,705 1.5% 372
Jackson 45.9% 2,652 52.3% 3,024 1.8% 103
Kanabec 43.5% 3,592 54.9% 4,527 1.6% 129
Kandiyohi 43.7% 9,337 54.8% 11,704 1.4% 308
Kittson 49.7% 1,333 48.7% 1,307 1.6% 42
Koochiching 50.1% 3,662 48.4% 3,539 1.5% 108
La Qui Parle 52.6% 2,390 46.1% 2,093 1.3% 58
Lake 59.6% 4,212 39.2% 2,769 1.3% 90
Lake of the Woods 38.4% 921 59.5% 1,428 2.1% 51
Le Sueur 44.8% 6,466 53.7% 7,746 1.5% 212
Lincoln 46.6% 1,558 51.9% 1,736 1.4% 48
Lyon 41.8% 5,292 56.8% 7,203 1.4% 178
McLeod 36.5% 6,712 62.0% 11,407 1.6% 293
Mahnomen 53.4% 1,339 45.1% 1,132 1.5% 37
Marshall 41.5% 2,308 57.3% 3,187 1.2% 67
Martin 41.5% 4,590 57.1% 6,311 1.3% 146
Meeker 42.9% 5,292 55.6% 6,854 1.5% 188
Mille Lacs 43.5% 5,677 55.1% 7,194 1.5% 194
Morrison 40.5% 6,794 57.9% 9,698 1.6% 266
Mower 61.0% 12,334 37.5% 7,591 1.5% 297
Murray 44.4% 2,218 54.4% 2,719 1.2% 61
Nicollet 49.6% 8,797 49.0% 8,689 1.4% 255
Nobles 42.4% 3,898 56.1% 5,159 1.6% 147
Norman 51.3% 1,954 47.1% 1,794 1.6% 62
Olmsted 46.5% 33,285 52.2% 37,371 1.3% 919
Otter Tail 37.4% 12,038 61.3% 19,734 1.3% 406
Pennington 44.4% 3,117 53.7% 3,767 1.9% 133
Pine 49.8% 7,228 48.4% 7,033 1.8% 257
Pipestone 37.8% 1,900 60.9% 3,066 1.3% 66
Polk 42.9% 6,729 55.7% 8,724 1.4% 215
Pope 49.3% 3,301 49.3% 3,303 1.4% 96
Ramsey 63.0% 171,846 35.6% 97,096 1.3% 3,635
Red Lake 44.2% 963 53.5% 1,164 2.3% 50
Redwood 38.1% 3,104 60.2% 4,898 1.7% 137
Renville 45.4% 3,787 53.1% 4,430 1.6% 132
Rice 53.4% 16,425 45.1% 13,881 1.4% 439
Rock 38.5% 2,000 59.9% 3,111 1.5% 80
Roseau 30.9% 2,442 67.7% 5,355 1.4% 114
St. Louis 65.2% 77,958 33.5% 40,112 1.3% 1,495
Scott 39.5% 23,958 59.5% 36,055 1.0% 626
Sherburne 38.2% 15,816 60.7% 25,182 1.1% 456
Sibley 39.1% 3,109 58.7% 4,669 2.2% 171
Stearns 43.2% 32,659 55.2% 41,726 1.6% 1,192
Steele 42.8% 7,994 55.6% 10,389 1.7% 312
Stevens 47.4% 2,821 50.9% 3,030 1.6% 98
Swift 55.2% 3,165 43.3% 2,481 1.6% 89
Todd 41.2% 5,034 56.9% 6,945 1.9% 235
Traverse 47.9% 1,026 50.3% 1,076 1.8% 39
Wabasha 46.9% 5,548 51.7% 6,120 1.4% 167
Wadena 39.3% 2,791 59.4% 4,214 1.2% 88
Waseca 42.6% 4,179 55.7% 5,457 1.7% 164
Washington 47.8% 61,395 51.2% 65,751 1.0% 1,303
Watonwan 45.0% 2,514 53.2% 2,970 1.8% 99
Wilkin 33.1% 1,169 65.3% 2,303 1.6% 55
Winona 51.9% 14,231 46.3% 12,686 1.8% 505
Wright 38.0% 22,618 60.8% 36,176 1.2% 740
Yellow Medicine 48.6% 2,799 50.0% 2,878 1.4% 81

By congressional district[edit]

Bush won 5 of 8 congressional districts.[8]

District Bush Kerry Representative
1st 51% 47% Gil Gutknecht
2nd 54% 45% John Kline
3rd 51% 48% Jim Ramstad
4th 37% 62% Betty McCollum
5th 28% 71% Martin Olav Sabo
6th 57% 42% Mark Kennedy
7th 55% 43% Collin Peterson
8th 46% 53% Jim Oberstar

Electors[edit]

Technically the voters of Minnesota cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Minnesota is allocated 10 electors because it has 8 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 10 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and his or her running mate. Whoever wins the majority of votes in the state is awarded all 10 electoral votes. Their chosen electors then vote for President and Vice President. Although electors are pledged to their candidate and running mate, they are not obligated to vote for them. An elector who votes for someone other than his or her candidate is known as a faithless elector.

The electors of each state and the District of Columbia met on December 13, 2000 to cast their votes for President and Vice President. The Electoral College itself never meets as one body. Instead the electors from each state and the District of Columbia met in their respective capitols.

The following were the members of the Electoral College from the state. Nine were pledged for Kerry/Edwards, but one made a mistake and ended up voting for Edwards/Kerry, and thus became a faithless elector. Minnesota's electors cast secret ballots, so unless one of the electors claims responsibility, it is unlikely that the identity of the faithless elector will ever be known. As a result of this incident, Minnesota Statutes were amended to provide for public balloting of the electors' votes and invalidation of a vote cast for someone other than the candidate to whom the elector is pledged.[9]

  1. Sonja Berg
  2. Vi Grooms-Alban
  3. Matthew Little
  4. Michael Meuers
  5. Tim O'Brien
  6. Lil Ortendahl
  7. Everett Pettiford
  8. Jean Schiebel
  9. Frank Simon
  10. Chandler Harrison Stevens

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Although John Kerry won Minnesota's 10 electoral votes, 1 faithless elector voted for John Edwards instead of Kerry

References[edit]