United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2006: Wikis

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2000 Minnesota 2012 ›
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2006
November 7, 2006
Amy Klobuchar.jpg Mark Kennedy, official photo portrait, color.jpg
Nominee Amy Klobuchar Mark Kennedy
Party DFL Republican
Popular vote 1,278,849 835,653
Percentage 58.1% 37.9%
MNCountiesSen06.png
County Results

Incumbent Senator
Mark Dayton
DFL

Senator-elect
Amy Klobuchar
DFL

Elections in Minnesota
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The 2006 Minnesota U.S. Senate election took place on November 7, 2006. The incumbent, Senator Mark Dayton, a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, announced in February 2005 that he would be retiring from the Senate after his first term ended in early 2007, thus leaving the seat open. Some analysts had predicted that this race would be the costliest and closest Senate election in 2006 (which turned out to be false, as the DFL candidate won with a 20 per cent margin).

The primary election took place on September 12, 2006.

Contents

Candidates

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Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party

Klobuchar at a campaign rally with Barack Obama and Tim Walz.

Amy Klobuchar, the Hennepin County Attorney, gained the early endorsement of the majority of DFL state legislators in Minnesota. A poll taken of DFL state delegates showed Klobuchar beating her then closest opponent, Patty Wetterling, 66% to 15%. As of June 30, 2005, Klobuchar had more cash on hand than any other candidate, nearly $1,100,000.

Klobuchar was endorsed by EMILY's List on 29 September 2005. On January 20, 2006, Wetterling dropped out of the race and endorsed Klobuchar. [1] [2]

Former Senate candidate and prominent lawyer Mike Ciresi, who was widely seen as the only other serious potential DFL candidate, indicated on February 7, 2006 that he would not enter the race. That removal of her most significant potential competitor for the DFL nomination was viewed as an important boost for Klobuchar. [3]

The only other serious candidate for the DFL endorsement was veterinarian Ford Bell. Klobuchar won the official DFL endorsement on June 9, 2006. Bell dropped out of the race on July 10 citing inability to compete financially and also endorsed Klobuchar.

Republican Party

Mark Kennedy was the U.S. Representative from Minnesota's 6th congressional district at the time, and was the GOP nominee in this election.

Kennedy had faced potential challenges from former Senator Rod Grams, as well as Representative Gil Gutknecht, but both men were persuaded by national GOP leaders to run for the House instead. (Grams lost to Representative James Oberstar, while Gutknecht lost his reelection bid to Tim Walz.)

Ultimately, Kennedy faced only token opposition; he beat Harold Shudlick, a retired minister and Vietnam veteran and John Ulrich, a business consultant, teacher, and US Marine Corps veteran in the 12 September 2006 Primary Election.

Major party candidates: Kennedy, Klobuchar, and Fitzgerald.

Constitution Party

Green Party

Independence Party

  • Robert Fitzgerald - a public access TV show director

Independent

  • Peter Idusogie- a business consultant and 2004 DFL Congressional candidate

Campaign

Candidates Mark Kennedy, Amy Klobuchar, and Robert Fitzgerald debate on November 5, 2006.

Kennedy's routine support of President George W. Bush in House votes appears to be a central issue for Democrats in the senatorial campaign. In June 2006, allegations were made that many references to and photos of Bush had been removed from Kennedy's official house website; in rebuttal, Republicans said that there were 72 references to Bush on the website and that the changes noted by critics had been made some time ago, as part of the normal updating process. [4]

As of 13 October 2006, Ben Powers is the only ballot-qualified candidate not to be invited to appear on Minnesota Public Television's Almanac program.

Polling

After the release of the Minnesota Poll on 17 September, 2006, showing Klobuchar ahead by 24%, Kennedy's campaign issued a statement[5] from Joe Pally, the campaign's communications director. He claimed that the margin was exaggerated because of bias by the Star Tribune and that the poll "is clearly more about discouraging Kennedy supporters than on reflecting the true status of one of the most closely contested Senate races in the country."[1]. This press release came in the wake of news that the Republican party was scaling back funding for Kennedy's election campaign to shore up campaigns in states seen as winnable. Kennedy's campaign frequently accused the Star Tribune of bias in favor of Klobuchar, whose father was an editorial columnist and sports writer for the "Strib" until his retirement. As noted below, a subsequent poll by Rasmussen Reports showed a similar margin of victory for Klobuchar and the St.Paul Pioneer Press also showed Klobuchar with a 15% lead in September. Klobuchar ultimately won the November 7 election with greater than a 20% margin of victory.

Source Date Klobuchar (DFL) Kennedy (R) Fitzgerald (IPM)
SurveyUSA November 6, 2006 56% 40% 2%
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune Minnesota Poll November 4, 2006 54% 34% 4%
University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute November 1, 2006 55% 33% 3%
Rasmussen October 25, 2006 54% 39%
SurveyUSA October 24, 2006 55% 39% 3%
Zogby/WSJ October 19, 2006 50.2% 42.7%
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune Minnesota Poll October 15, 2006 55% 34% 3%
Rasmussen October 4, 2006 53% 36% 6%
SurveyUSA September 28, 2006 51% 43% 2%
Minnesota Public Radio/Pioneer Press/Mason-Dixon September 25, 2006 52% 37% 1%
University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute September 21, 2006 52% 36% 7%
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune Minnesota Poll September 17, 2006 56% 32% 3%
Zogby/WSJ September 11, 2006 49.1% 40.4%
Gallup September 5, 2006 50% 40%
Rasmussen August 28, 2006 47% 40% 8%
Zogby/WSJ August 28, 2006 49.9% 42.3%
Rasmussen August 7, 2006 50% 38% 5%
SurveyUSA July 24, 2006 47% 42% 8%
Bennett, Petts, and Blumenthal (D) July 24, 2006 48% 30%
Zogby/WSJ July 24, 2006 49.4% 42.9%
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune Minnesota Poll July 16, 2006 50% 31%
Rasmussen June 30, 2006 47% 44%
Zogby/WSJ June 21, 2006 48.6% 41.2%
Rasmussen May 10, 2006 45% 43%
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Poll May 9, 2006 50% 42%
Zogby/WSJ March 31, 2006 49% 41%
Rasmussen February 28, 2006 45% 42%
Rasmussen January 28, 2006 43% 42%
Rasmussen December 23, 2005 48% 41%

Election results

2006 Minnesota U.S. Senate election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
DFL Amy Klobuchar 1,278,849 58.06% +9.23%
Republican Mark Kennedy 835,653 37.94% -5.35%
Independence Robert Fitzgerald 71,194 3.23% -2.58%
Green Michael Cavlan 10,714 0.49% n/a
Constitution Ben Powers 5,408 0.25% -0.12%
Write-ins 954
Majority 443,196 20.2%
Turnout 2,202,772 70.64%
DFL hold Swing

References

External links

See also

Preceded by
2002
Norm Coleman (R)
Minnesota U.S. Senate elections
2006
Amy Klobuchar (DFL)
Succeeded by
2008
Al Franken (DFL)

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