How do the DFL backed candidates do in a primary?

On Friday, DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez emphasized in a press briefing that the DFL Party has had recent success in getting the endorsed candidate to the general election. The topic came up because the endorsed candidate is likely to face at least three other candidates in the August primary. Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, former Minnesota House Minority Leader Matt Entenza and Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner all say they’ll run in the primary regardless of Saturday’s endorsing convention.

Melendez said only one DFL endorsed candidate didn’t face a primary challenge in the past 21 gubernatorial contests (Wendell Anderson in 1970). He also said the party will rally behind the endorsed candidate immediately after the endorsing convention.

“I think the people are who thinking that the party’s endorsement has the same meaning now as it had in the 1980s,” Melendez said. “I think they are going to be very disturbingly surprised. We back up our endorsement these days and we win.”

The party also released a chart outlining how each endorsed gov candidate fared in the primary and how they did in the general election. The endorsed candidate won all but three of the primary challenges. Check it here:

  Year	Endorsed	 Won Primary	  Won Election		# Opp.  2006	Mike Hatch	 Mike Hatch	  Tim Pawlenty		2  2002	Roger Moe	 Roger Moe	  Tim Pawlenty		1  1998	Mike Freeman	 Skip Humphrey	  Jesse Ventura		5  1994	John Marty	 John Marty	  Arne Carlson		3  1990	Rudy Perpich	 Rudy Perpich	  Arne Carlson		2  1986	Rudy Perpich	 Rudy Perpich	  Rudy Perpich		4  1982	Warren Spannaus	 Rudy Perpich	  Rudy Perpich		2  1978	Rudy Perpich	 Rudy Perpich	  Al Quie		1  1974	Wendell Anderson	 Wendell Anderson  Wendell Anderson	1  1970	Wendell Anderson	 Wendell Anderson  Wendell Anderson	0  1966	A.M. (Sandy) Keith	 Karl Rolvaag	  Harold LeVander	4  1962	Karl Rolvaag	 Karl Rolvaag	  Karl Rolvaag		1  1960	Orville Freeman	 Orville Freeman  Elmer Andersen	1  1958	Orville Freeman	 Orville Freeman  Orville Freeman	1  1956	Orville Freeman	 Orville Freeman  Orville Freeman	3  1954	Orville Freeman	 Orville Freeman  Orville Freeman	1  1952	Orville Freeman	 Orville Freeman  C. Elmer Anderson	1  1950	Harry Peterson	 Harry Peterson	  Luther Youngdahl	4  1948	Charles Halstad	 Charles Halstad  Luther Youngdahl	5  1946	Harold Barker	 Harold Barker	  Luther Youngdahl	4  1944	Byron Allen	 Byron Allen	  Edward John Thye	2  

Source: Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party

Thanks to MPR’s Than Tibbetts for making the chart look good on the site.

  • Bill Gleason

    What the heck…

    I predict that MAK will win the endorsement and lose to Mark Dayton in the primary.

    (Except for Obama, my record has been lousy lately. And of course I support Tom Rukavina, the best candidate.)

  • Chris

    My prediction record is usually 50/50 each election cycle.

    My guess here is that Rybak will get the endorsement, and win the primary and general elections.

    Once in office, Rybak will promote many of the same kinds of budget cuts and education “reforms” as Pawlenty, with the silent compliance of many of the same liberals who’ve been protesting these policies for the last eight years.

    For the record, Rukavina is my favorite candidate as well.

  • John O.

    One has to wonder what flavor of Kool-Aid Melendez is sipping. The last Democrat to win the Governor’s race was Rudy Perpich a generation ago. Since Perpich was a Ranger, the Range politicos and the unions were behind him all the way.

    Today, the political might of the unions has diminished significantly and the state DFL party has challenges making their own payroll. I tend to agree that Rybak will get the DFL endorsement, but the question will be whether or not he can convince voters outside the metro to vote for him in either the primary or general election.