Template:Politics of Minnesota Minnesota has had a history of favoring the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidates since the 1960s, especially in Presidential elections where it has been seen as a "safe state" for the Democratic Party candidate. However, Minnesota has also has an active Republican Party that had been viewed as gaining more support in the late 1990s and early 2000s due to population migration to the suburbs along with the party's focus on socially conservative positions on gun control, abortion and gay rights, although those gains have largely been reversed in recent years. The DFL won a majority in the state house during the 2006 elections, defeating the previous Republican majority, and retained the DFL majority in the state senate. The governorship is held by DFLer Mark Dayton.
Minnesota has one of the strongest levels of support, among the states, for supporting independent and third political party candidates.
Third political parties
The Farmer-Labor Party was a populist political party that managed to elect some of its candidates to the United States Congress, a rare feat among American third political parties, and eventually merged with the Minnesota Democratic Party in 1944 to create the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. The success of the Farmer Labor Party shielded Minnesota from the worst of the restrictive ballot access laws that were passed in most states during the Red Scare era of the 1920s-1950s. State law governing nominating petitions for third party candidates and the definition of a major and minor political party have not prevented the rise of more than two major political parties, and have ensured that several different candidates are on the ballot in most state and federal elections.
In 1998 the Reform Party of Minnesota candidate for Governor, Jesse Ventura, won the election. The Reform Party later became the Independence Party. In 2002 Sheila Kiscaden who had previously been a Republican was re elected as a member of the Independence Party. The Green Party of Minnesota has had electoral success in city elections, particularly Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The governor is Tim Pawlenty. He is a member of the Republican Party, and the next statewide constitutional election is in 2010.
Minnesota's political parties
Recognized major political parties
- Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
- Republican Party of Minnesota
- Independence Party of Minnesota
Recognized minor political parties
- Green Party of Minnesota
- Ecology Democracy Party
Other political parties
- Socialist Party of Minnesota (Socialist Party USA}
- Communist Party of Minnesota (Communist Party)
- Constitution Party of Minnesota (Constitution Party)
- Libertarian Party of Minnesota (Libertarian Party)
- New Union Party of Minnesota (New Union Party)
- Socialist Workers Party of Minnesota (Socialist Workers Party)
- Twin Cities Democratic Socialists of America (Democratic socialists)
- New Revolution Party
- The Resource Party
- Liberty Union Party
- North Star Republic
Historic parties (now defunct or disbanded)
- Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party - Merged with the Minnesota Democratic Party in 1948 to form the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
- Grassroots Party - Members moved to the Green Party of Minnesota or to the Liberal Party of Minnesota
In 2005, Minnesota state law regarding the definition of major and minor political parties was changed. The distinction between the two depends on how many candidates the party nominates for certain partisan offices, and how well the candidates do in certain partisan elections. The law still allows for independent nominees to include a brief political party designation instead of the independent designation, and seems to ensure the likelihood of their being three or four major political parties. More information about the election law and voting can be found on the Secretary of State's website.
- Political party strength in Minnesota
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