Minnesota Democratic Party

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This article is about the historical Minnesota Democratic Party. For the modern party, see Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
Minnesota Democratic Party
Founded 1849 (1849)
Dissolved 1944 (1944)
Merged into Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Ideology Liberalism
National affiliation Democratic Party
Colors      Blue

The Minnesota Democratic Party was a political party in Minnesota that existed from the formation of Minnesota Territory in 1849 until 1944, when the party merged with the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party to form the modern Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

In the first two years after Minnesota's admission into the Union in 1858, the Minnesota Democratic Party was briefly the dominant party in the state; however, the 1860 presidential election and the Civil War dealt a devastating blow to the party from which it never really recovered. Between 1860 and 1918, the Minnesota Democratic Party was a distant second party to the dominant Republican Party. During that period, Democrats held the office of Governor of Minnesota for a grand total of seven years, never controlled either chamber of the Minnesota Legislature, and Minnesota never cast a single electoral vote in favor of a Democratic presidential nominee.

Following the establishment of the Farmer-Labor Party in 1918, the Minnesota Democratic Party was relegated to third party status, as the Farmer-Laborites became the primary opposition to the Republicans. During the 1930s, a political alliance between Minnesota Governor Floyd B. Olson and President Franklin D. Roosevelt bred closer cooperation between the Farmer-Laborites and the Democrats. With a large backing from Farmer-Laborites, Roosevelt became the first Democrat ever to win Minnesota's electoral votes in 1932, and went on to win the state in each of his re-election bids. In the 1936 gubernatorial election the Democratic Party opted not to run its own candidate for Governor, endorsing Farmer-Labor candidate Elmer Austin Benson instead.

After the Farmer-Laborites' spectacular fall from power in the 1938 general election, there was increasing pressure from the national Democratic Party for a merger between the Minnesota Democratic Party and the Farmer-Labor Party. In spite of substantial minorities in both parties continuing to oppose merging, the majority in the Farmer-Labor Party led by former-Governor Benson and the slim majority of the Minnesota Democratic Party led by future-Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey ultimately concluded such a merger in 1944, creating the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

Gubernatorial nominees[edit]

Year Nominee Votes Percent Elected Governor
1857 Henry Hastings Sibley 17,790 50.34 Henry Hastings Sibley (D)
1859 George Loomis Becker 17,582 45.18 Alexander Ramsey (R)
1861 Edward O. Hamblin 10,448 39.1
1863 Henry T. Welles 12,739 39.36 Stephen Miller (R)
1865 Henry Mower Rice 13,842 44.42 William Rainey Marshall (R)
1867 Charles Eugene Flandrau 29,502 45.83
1869 George L. Otis 25,401 46.6 Horace Austin (R)
1871 Winthrop Young 30,376 38.86
1873 Asa Barton 35,245 47.56 Cushman Kellogg Davis (R)
1875 David L. Buell 35,275 42.03 John S. Pillsbury (R)
1877 William L. Banning 39,147 39.13
1879 Edmund Rice 41,524 39.11
1881 Richard W. Johnson 37,168 35.21 Lucius Frederick Hubbard (R)
1883 Adolph Biermann 58,251 42.95
1886 A. A. Ames 104,464 47.36 Andrew Ryan McGill (R)
1888 Eugene McLanahan Wilson 110,251 42.14 William Rush Merriam (R)
1890 Thomas Wilson 85,844 35.63
1892 Daniel W. Lawler 94,600 36.96 Knute Nelson (R)
1894 George Loomis Becker 53,584 18.09
1896 John Lind[a] 162,254 48.11 David Marston Clough (R)
1898 131,980 52.26 John Lind (P/DSR)
1900 150,651 47.95 Samuel Rinnah Van Sant (R)
1902 Leonard A. Rosing 99,362 36.68
1904 John Albert Johnson 147,992 48.71 John Albert Johnson (D)
1906 168,480 60.93
1908 175,136 51.93
1910 James Gray 103,779 35.23 Adolph Olson Eberhart (R)
1912 Peter M. Ringdahl 99,659 31.3
1914 Winfield S. Hammond 156,304 45.54 Winfield S. Hammond (D)
1916 Thomas P. Dwyer 93,112 23.84 J. A. A. Burnquist (R)
1918 Fred Wheaton 76,793 19.71
1920 Laurence C. Hodgson 81,293 10.37 J. A. O. Preus (R)
1922 Edward Indrehus 79,903 11.66
1924 Carlos Avery 49,353 5.91 Theodore Christianson (R)
1926 Alfred Jacques 38,008 5.42
1928 Andrew Nelson 213,734 21.38
1930 Edward Indrehus 29,109 3.65 Floyd B. Olson (F-L)
1932 John E. Regan 169,859 16.44
1934 176,928 16.84
1936 No candidate[b] Elmer Austin Benson (F-L)
1938 Thomas F. Gallagher 65,875 5.81 Harold Stassen (R)
1940 Edward Murphy 140,021 11.21
1942 John D. Sullivan 75,151 9.46
  1. ^ In each of his three appearances on the general election ballot for Governor, John Lind ran at the head of a coalition consisting of the Democratic Party, the Silver Republican Party, and the majority faction of the People's Party, and his party affiliation is listed as "P/DSR" (Populist/Democratic Silver Republican) in the list of Minnesota Governors compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library.
  2. ^ In 1936, the Democratic Party did not field a gubernatorial nominee, instead opting to support Farmer-Labor nominee Elmer Austin Benson.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]