DFL would make history by winning 2018 governor’s race sans Dayton

It may be early for most of us to think about Election 2018, but  Eric Ostermeier in Smart Politics looks through the state’s history and finds that the DFL has never won back-to-back elections for governor with different nominees.

His story — “Life after Dayton: Can Minnesota Democrats make history in 2018?” — notes that Dayton could run for a third term, but has said he won’t.

And while Democrats have won consecutive gubernatorial elections seven times in history, they’ve always been with the same nominee, most recently Dayton in 2010 and 2014.

Writes Ostermeier: “The party has been unable to marshall support for its gubernatorial agenda with an outgoing administration; Gopher State voters to this point have only been enamored enough to reelect a sitting Democratic governor – never to vote a new one into office as a fellow party member exits.

“By contrast, Republicans have accomplished this feat 13 times since statehood.”

Assuming Dayton does leave office in January, 2019, he’ll be tied with Gov. Rudy Perpich’s second stint for the longest consecutive Democrat-streak in the governor’s office, at eight years, five days, Ostermeier says.

However, “the DFL hold on state politics is running deeper than ever (despite losing the State House in 2014),” he writes.

“By winning statewide races for governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and auditor last year, Minnesota Democrats were able to sweep all constitutional offices in back-to-back cycles for the first time in state history and now hold all statewide partisan offices for just the third time since statehood.”

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Josh Lease on 01/11/2016 - 03:57 pm.


    A silly piece.

    No party has accomplished this feat since MN went to 4 year gubernatorial terms in 1958. Additionally, if you’re going to track back to the founding of the state, you either need to include Farmer-Labor party wins for the DFL, or count the DFL as a new party starting with the merger in 1944. The Farmer-Labor Party had consecutive wins of the governor’s office with 3 different candidates: Floyd Olson, Hjalmar Peterson, and Elmer Benson, in the 1930’s.

Leave a Reply