Minnesota gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2014

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Minnesota Gubernatorial Election

Primary Date:
August 12, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

November 4 Election Winners:
Mark Dayton Democratic Party
Tina Smith Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Mark Dayton Democratic Party
Yvonne Prettner Solon Democratic Party
Mark Dayton
Yvonne Prettner Solon
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The Minnesota gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Mark Dayton (D) was running for re-election, while current Lieutenant Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon did not file for re-election.[1] Dayton and running mate Tina Smith defeated four tickets including the Republican ticket of Jeff Johnson and Bill Kuisle. The gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial candidates for each party were voted on as a single ticket rather than separate candidates in the general election. Dayton and Smith won election to concurrent four-year terms.

Recent gubernatorial elections in Minnesota featured narrow margins of victory, including a 0.4 percent margin for Dayton and Solon in 2010. Polling trends detailed in our polls section showed Dayton and Smith with a double-digit lead over Johnson and Kuisle as of mid-October.

The gubernatorial race was not the only race on the November ballot that could shift the balance of power in Minnesota. The Minnesota House of Representatives was identified by Ballotpedia as one of the top 20 legislative chambers to watch in 2014. Both legislative chambers and the governor's office were held by a single party, making Minnesota a state government trifecta. The Minnesota House of Representatives flipped from Democratic to Republican control, thus eliminating the state's trifecta status. Learn more about the state's most competitive legislative races on the battleground chambers page.

Minnesota is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[2][3][4]

Candidates

General election

Democratic Party Mark Dayton/Tina Smith - Incumbent Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Jeff Johnson/Bill Kuisle
Libertarian Party Chris Holbrook/Chris Dock
Independent Grassroots Party candidates Chris Wright/David Daniels
Independence Party of America Hannah Nicollet/Tim Gieseke

Defeated in the primary

Democratic Party Bill Dahn/James Vigliotti
Democratic Party Leslie Davis/Gregory K. Soderberg
Republican Party Merrill Anderson/Mark Anderson
Republican Party Scott Honour/Karin Housley
Republican Party Marty Seifert/Pam Myhra
Republican Party Kurt Zellers/Dean Simpson


Results

General election

Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMark Dayton/Tina Smith Incumbent 50.1% 988,713
     Republican Jeff Johnson/Bill Kuisle 44.5% 878,937
     Independence Hannah Nicollet/Tim Gieseke 2.9% 56,885
     Grassroots Party Chris Wright/David Daniels 1.6% 31,245
     Libertarian Chris Holbrook/Chris Dock 0.9% 18,092
Total Votes 1,973,872
Election Results via New York Times. Vote totals above are unofficial and reflect 100% precincts reporting.

Primary election

Democratic primary

Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMark Dayton/Tina Smith 93% 177,737
Leslie Davis/Gregory K. Soderberg 4.5% 8,529
Bill Dahn/James Vigliotti 2.6% 4,896
Total Votes 191,162
Election Results Via:Minnesota Secretary of State. Vote totals above are unofficial and reflect 100% precincts reporting.

Republican primary

Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJeff Johnson/Bill Kuisle 30.3% 55,813
Kurt Zellers/Dean Simpson 23.9% 43,991
Marty Seifert/Pam Myhra 21.1% 38,798
Scott Honour/Karin Housley 20.8% 38,331
Merrill Anderson/Mark Anderson 3.8% 7,008
Total Votes 183,941
Election Results Via:Minnesota Secretary of State. Vote totals above are unofficial and reflect 100% precincts reporting.


Polls

General election

Minnesota Governor's Race 2014 - All candidates
Poll Mark Dayton * (D) Jeff Johnson (R)Hannah Nicollet (I)Chris Holbrook (L)Chris Wright (Grassroots)Undecided/OtherMargin of ErrorSample Size
KTSP/SurveyUSA
(September 30-October 2, 2014)
51%39%4%0%1%5%+/-4.2577
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.
Minnesota Governor's Race 2014 - Dayton vs. Johnson
Poll Mark Dayton * (D) Jeff Johnson (R)Undecided/OtherMargin of ErrorSample Size
Rasmussen Reports
(August 13-14, 2014)
49%41%10%+/-4750
Star Tribune
(September 8-10, 2014)
45%33%22%+/-3.5800
Rasmussen Reports
(September 29-30, 2014)
50%40%10%+/-4750
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
(October 16-23, 2014)
50%41%10%+/-32,430
AVERAGES 48.5% 38.75% 13% +/-3.63 1,182.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Hypothetical match-ups

Hypothetical match-ups for Governor of Minnesota
Julie RosenScott HonourKurt ZellersMarty SeifertDave ThompsonJeff Johnson
Percent of the vote36%38%38%37%37%37%
Mark Dayton's percent of the vote48%48%48%48%48%48%
Undecided16%15%14%16%15%15%
Between October 27-29, 2013, Public Policy Polling surveyed 895 Minnesota voters. The respondents were given a series of hypothetical match-ups between Democratic incumbent Mark Dayton and six potential Republican candidates, and asked for which of the two candidates they would vote in the 2014 gubernatorial election. The margin of error for this survey is +/-3.3%[5]

Note: An asterisk (*) denotes incumbent status.

Campaign media

Mark Dayton


Mark Dayton ad: Darn Good Coach

Jeff Johnson


Jeff Johnson ad: Accountable

Hannah Nicollet


Hannah Nicollet ad: The Independents

Ad spending

The Wesleyan Media Project published a report on September 30, 2014, highlighting spending on gubernatorial races from September 12-25. This report found that Democratic and Republican groups spent a total of $46.84 million on TV ads in 15 states with gubernatorial elections. The following chart details the group's findings including spending amounts and number of ads:[6]

Note: A bolded number indicates the highest total for this category. A number in italics is the lowest total for this category.

Spending on TV ads, September 12-25, 2014
State Total # of ads  % Democratic-leaning ads  % GOP-leaning ads Total spending-Democratic leaning (in millions of $) Total spending-GOP leaning (in millions of $)
Colorado 2,460 83.1 16.9 1.35 0.39
Connecticut 2,312 61.7 38.3 1.48 0.89
Florida 20,111 38.5 61.5 4.07 6.64
Georgia 4,625 51.1 48.9 1.43 0.99
Illinois 7,793 63.5 36.5 4.17 3.5
Iowa 2,134 47.5 52.5 0.25 0.38
Kansas 5,024 45.7 54.3 0.85 1.17
Maine 3,281 42.3 57.7 0.46 0.32
Michigan 6,767 33.9 66.1 1.14 2.3
Minnesota 1,974 83.9 16.1 0.65 0.29
New York 4,926 61 39 2.18 0.88
Pennsylvania 3,263 50.9 49.1 1.58 1.23
South Carolina 2,883 39.1 60.9 0.33 0.38
Texas 10,330 33.4 66.6 2.24 2.93
Wisconsin 7,374 63.3 36.7 1.36 1.01
TOTALS 85,257 48.2 51.8 23.54 23.3

Past elections

2010

On November 2, 2010, Mark Dayton/Yvonne Prettner Solon won election to the office of Governor/Lt. Governor of Minnesota. They defeated Tom Emmer/Annette Meeks (R), Tom Horner/James A. Mulder (I), Chris Wright/Edwin H. Engelmann (Grassroots), Farheen Hakeem/Dan Dittmann (Green), Ken Pentel/Erin Wallace (Ecology Democracy) and Linda S. Eno/Howard B. Hanson (Resource) in the general election.

Governor/Lt. Governor of Minnesota, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMark Dayton/Yvonne Prettner Solon 43.6% 919,232
     Republican Tom Emmer/Annette Meeks 43.2% 910,462
     Independence Tom Horner/James A. Mulder 11.9% 251,487
     Grassroots Party Chris Wright/Edwin H. Engelmann 0.4% 7,516
     Green Farheen Hakeem/Dan Dittmann 0.3% 6,188
     Ecology Democracy Party Ken Pentel/Erin Wallace 0.3% 6,180
     The Resource Party Linda S. Eno/Howard B. Hanson 0.2% 4,092
     Write-In Various 0.1% 1,864
Total Votes 2,107,021
Election Results Via: Minnesota Secretary of State

2006

Governor of Minnesota, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTim Pawlenty and Carol Molnau Incumbent 46.7% 1,028,568
     Democratic Mike Hatch and Judi Dutcher 45.8% 1,007,460
     Independence Party Peter Hutchinson and Maureen Reed 6.4% 141,735
     Green Party Ken Pentel and Danene Provencher 0.5% 10,800
     Quit Raising Taxes Walt E. Brown and Wesley C. Nelson 0.4% 9,649
     American Party Leslie Davis and Gregory K. Soderberg 0.2% 3,776
Total Votes 2,201,988

2002

Governor of Minnesota, 2002
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTim Pawlenty and Carol Molnau 44.4% 999,473
     Democratic Roger Moe and Julie Sabo 36.5% 821,268
     Independence Tim Penny and Martha Robertson 16.2% 364,534
     Green Ken Pentel and Rhoda Gilman 2.2% 50,589
     Independent Booker T. Hodges IV and Kamal Buchanan 0.4% 9,689
     Socialist Workers Kari Sachs and Samuel Farley 0.1% 3,026
     Constitution Lawrence Aeshliman and Tamara Ann Houle 0.1% 2,537
     Write-in Write-in candidates 0.1% 1,340
Total Votes 2,252,456

Voter turnout

Political scientist Michael McDonald's United States Elections Project studied voter turnout in the 2014 election by looking at the percentage of eligible voters who headed to the polls. McDonald used voting-eligible population (VEP), or the number of eligible voters independent of their current registration status, to calculate turnout rates in each state on November 4. He also incorporated ballots cast for the highest office in each state into his calculation. He estimated that 82,596,338 ballots were cast in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, representing 36.4 percent of the VEP.[7] By comparison, 61.6 percent of VEP voted in the 2008 presidential election and 58.2 percent of VEP voted in the 2012 presidential election.[8]

Quick facts

  • According to PBS Newshour, voter turnout in the 2014 midterms was the lowest since the 1942 midterms, which took place during the nation's involvement in World War II.[9]
  • Forty-three states and the District of Columbia failed to surpass 50 percent turnout in McDonald's analysis.
  • The three states with the lowest turnout according to McDonald's analysis were Indiana (28 percent), Texas (28.5 percent) and Utah (28.8 percent).
  • Maine (59.3 percent), Wisconsin (56.9 percent) and Alaska (55.3 percent) were the three states with the highest turnout.
  • There were only 12 states that increased voter turnout in 2014 compared to the 2010 midterm elections.[10]
Voter turnout rates, 2014
State Total votes for top office  % voter eligible population Top statewide office up for election Size of lead (Raw votes) Size of lead (%)
Alabama 1,200,000 33.5 Governor 320,319 27.2
Alaska 290,000 55.3 Governor 4,004 1.6
Arizona 1,550,000 34.4 Governor 143,951 12.5
Arkansas 875,000 41.2 Governor 118,664 14
California 7,750,000 31.8 Governor 1,065,748 17.8
Colorado 2,025,000 53.0 Governor 50,395 2.4
Connecticut 1,089,880 42.3 Governor 26,603 2.5
Delaware 234,038 34.4 Attorney general 31,155 13.6
District of Columbia 150,000 30.3 Mayor 27,934 19
Florida 5,951,561 42.7 Governor 66,127 1.1
Georgia 2,575,000 38.2 Governor 202,685 8
Hawaii 366,125 36.2 Governor 45,323 12.4
Idaho 440,000 39.1 Governor 65,852 14.9
Illinois 3,550,000 39.5 Governor 171,900 4.9
Indiana 1,350,000 28.0 Secretary of state 234,978 17.8
Iowa 1,150,000 50.6 Governor 245,548 21.8
Kansas 875,000 42.8 Governor 33,052 3.9
Kentucky 1,440,000 44.2 U.S. Senate 222,096 15.5
Louisiana 1,472,039 43.8 U.S. Senate 16,401 1.1
Maine 625,000 59.3 Governor 29,820 4.9
Maryland 1,750,000 41.9 Governor 88,648 6.1
Massachusetts 2,150,000 43.9 Governor 40,361 1.9
Michigan 3,151,835 42.7 Governor 129,547 4.3
Minnesota 2,025,000 51.3 Governor 109,776 5.6
Mississippi 650,000 29.7 U.S. Senate 141,234 33
Missouri 1,450,000 32.3 Auditor 684,074 53.6
Montana 365,000 46.1 U.S. Senate 65,262 17.9
Nebraska 550,000 41.3 Governor 97,678 18.7
Nevada 600,000 31.8 Governor 255,793 46.7
New Hampshire 500,000 48.8 Governor 24,924 5.2
New Jersey 1,825,000 30.4 N/A N/A N/A
New Mexico 550,000 38.3 Governor 73,868 14.6
New York 3,900,000 28.8 Governor 476,252 13.4
North Carolina 2,900,000 40.7 U.S. Senate 48,511 1.7
North Dakota 248,670 43.8 U.S. House At-large seat 42,214 17.1
Ohio 3,150,000 36.2 Governor 933,235 30.9
Oklahoma 825,000 29.8 Governor 122,060 14.7
Oregon 1,500,000 52 Governor 59,029 4.5
Pennsylvania 3,500,000 36.1 Governor 339,261 9.8
Rhode Island 325,000 41.7 Governor 14,346 4.5
South Carolina 1,246,301 34.8 Governor 179,089 14.6
South Dakota 279,412 44.5 Governor 124,865 45.1
Tennessee 1,400,000 29.1 Governor 642,214 47.5
Texas 4,750,000 28.5 Governor 957,973 20.4
Utah 550,000 28.8 Attorney general 173,819 35.2
Vermont 193,087 38.8 Governor 2,095 1.1
Virginia 2,200,000 36.7 U.S. Senate 16,727 0.8
Washington 2,050,000 41.6 N/A N/A N/A
West Virginia 460,000 31.8 U.S. Senate 124,667 27.6
Wisconsin 2,425,000 56.9 Governor 137,607 5.7
Wyoming 168,390 38.7 Governor 52,703 33.6
United States 82,596,338 36.4

Note: Information from the United States Elections Project was last updated on November 19, 2014. The results in this table draw from unofficial results as of November 12, 2014.

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
May 20, 2014 First day of candidate filing period
June 3, 2014 Last day of candidate filing period
August 12, 2014 Primary election
November 4, 2014 General election
November 25, 2014 State Canvassing Board meeting to certify election results
January 5, 2015 Inauguration day for state executive officials in general election[11]

Ballotpedia reports

To learn more about developments in these races, check out the following news articles from Ballotpedia:

Recent news

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Minnesota Gubernatorial Election News Feed

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See also

External links

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References