2006 Minnesota gubernatorial election

← 2002 November 7, 2006 2010 →
 
IPM
Nominee Tim Pawlenty Mike Hatch Peter Hutchinson
Party Republican Democratic (DFL) Independence
Running mate Carol Molnau Judi Dutcher Maureen Reed
Popular vote 1,028,568 1,007,460 141,735
Percentage 46.7% 45.7% 6.4%

County results
Pawlenty:      40–50%      50–60%
Hatch:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%

Governor before election

Tim Pawlenty
Republican

Elected Governor

Tim Pawlenty
Republican

The 2006 Minnesota gubernatorial election took place on November 7, 2006. Incumbent Tim Pawlenty was endorsed by the state Republican convention on June 2, 2006, while the state Democratic–Farmer–Labor convention endorsed Mike Hatch on June 10, 2006. The party primaries took place on September 12, 2006, with Hatch defeating DFL challengers Becky Lourey and Ole Savior and incumbent Pawlenty defeating Sue Jeffers. In the November 7 general election, Pawlenty received a plurality of the votes, defeating Hatch by a margin of 1%. As a result, this election was the closest race of the 2006 gubernatorial election cycle.

As of 2022, it is the last time a Republican won a statewide race in Minnesota.

Democratic–Farmer–Labor primary

Candidates

Declared

Withdrawn

Results

Democratic–Farmer–Labor gubernatorial primary election, 2006[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic (DFL) Mike Hatch 231,643 73.20
Democratic (DFL) Becky Lourey 77,430 24.47
Democratic (DFL) Ole Savior 7,397 2.34
Total votes 316,470 100.00

Independence primary

Candidates

Results

Independence gubernatorial primary election, 2006[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Independence Peter Hutchinson 7,725 66.09
Independence Pam Ellison 3,964 33.91
Total votes 11,689 100.00

Republican primary

Candidates

Results

Republican gubernatorial primary election, 2006[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tim Pawlenty (incumbent) 147,622 88.87
Republican Sue Jeffers 18,490 11.13
Total votes 166,112 100.00

Other candidates

Nominated by petition

Former candidates

General election

On November 7, 2006, Tim Pawlenty narrowly won the general election, 46.7% to 45.7%, in a four-way race between himself, DFL candidate Mike Hatch, Independence Party candidate Peter Hutchinson, and Green Party candidate Ken Pentel. After Pawlenty opted out of spending limits, Hatch followed suit. Outspending Hatch by $1 million, Pawlenty's campaign set a new spending record for a Minnesota gubernatorial campaign. The race was also affected by negative advertising by 527 groups, as well as issue-oriented groups opposing liberal causes in the state.

A major issue in the campaign that was considered to have hurt the DFL nominees was lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Judi Dutcher's response to a question about E-85. When asked about the impact of the gasoline alternative on the economies of rural Minnesota by then KSAX-TV anchor Corey Poppe, Dutcher was unable to comment, asking Poppe to define E-85.[5] In the subsequent questioning about her response, gubernatorial candidate Mike Hatch reportedly called a Forum Communications reporter "a Republican whore" and promptly hung up the phone.[6][7] Hatch claimed he had said "hack", not "whore", but the incident, occurring only three days before the last poll listed in this article, is believed to have swung the race. It put Hatch on the defensive in the campaign's last week.

Additionally, Pawlenty made illegal immigration an issue, running ads accusing Hatch of trying to give illegal immigrants college tuition. Hatch responded with an ad saying that illegal immigration laws had not been enforced under Pawlenty's tenure. Pawlenty also ran ads accusing Hatch of being responsible for raising health care costs, a claim Hatch disputed. Pawlenty campaigned on a record of leading the state through hard times, balancing record budget deficits without raising major state tax rates or diminishing the state's "nation-leading" status on most socioeconomic indicators.

Pawlenty won by piling up large margins in suburban counties as well as in central and southern Minnesota regions anchored by St. Cloud and Rochester. In his victory speech, noting that he would have to deal with a DFL House and Senate, Pawlenty said it was "a time tonight to be humble and time to be grateful." He promised that "the next four years are going to be different than the last four years" and that he would build "a common agenda" with DFLers who swept legislative and constitutional offices.

Hatch ran ahead in Minneapolis, St. Paul and their inner-ring suburbs, and won by large margins around Duluth and the Iron Range. In his concession speech, Hatch advocated that legislators get back to "sitting down and getting to know each other in private" to establish common ground for bipartisan legislation, and called for an end to partisan rancor. Had the Hatch/Dutcher ticket been successful, he stated that this would have been one of his administration's first goals.[8]

Predictions

Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[9] Tossup November 6, 2006
Sabato's Crystal Ball[10] Tossup November 6, 2006
Rothenberg Political Report[11] Tossup November 2, 2006
Real Clear Politics[12] Tossup November 6, 2006

Polling

Two-way

Source Date Mike
Hatch (DFL)
Tim
Pawlenty (R)
Undecided
University of Minnesota October 28, 2006 45% 39% 7%
Mason-Dixon October 27, 2006 44% 43% 7%
St. Cloud State University October 27, 2006 46% 36% 7%
Rasmussen October 25, 2006 45% 44% 2%
Zogby/WSJ October 19, 2006 45% 45%
Rasmussen October 4, 2006 50% 46% 2%
Zogby/WSJ September 11, 2006 42% 41%
Gallup September 5, 2006 44% 43%
Zogby/WSJ July 24, 2006 43% 43%
Star Tribune Minnesota Poll July 15, 2006 41% 43%
Rasmussen June 30, 2006 47% 42%
Zogby/WSJ June 21, 2006 40% 45%
Rasmussen May 10, 2006 49% 39%
Rasmussen February 28, 2006 45% 40%
Rasmussen January 29, 2006 44% 47%

Three-way

Source Date Mike
Hatch (DFL)
Tim
Pawlenty (R)
Peter
Hutchinson (IP)
Undecided
Star Tribune Minnesota Poll[permanent dead link] November 4, 2006 45% 40% 7% 7%
Star Tribune Minnesota Poll October 14, 2006 46% 37% 7% 6%
Survey USA September 28, 2006 44% 45% 6% 3%
Pioneer Press/MPR Poll September 22, 2006 39% 42% 5% 11%
The Humphrey Institute September 21, 2006 44% 42% 6% 5%
Star Tribune Minnesota Poll[permanent dead link] September 16, 2006 42% 42% 7% 5%
Rasmussen[permanent dead link] September 1, 2006 39% 45% 7%
Zogby/WSJ August 28, 2006 43% 41% 5–9%
Rasmussen August 7, 2006 36% 46% 6%
Survey USA July 24, 2006 36% 50% 8%

Results

County Results for the Independence Party:  Hutchinson      <4%%      4-5%      5-6%      6-7%      7-8%      8%<
County Results for the Independence Party:
Hutchinson
  •      <4%%
  •      4-5%
  •      5-6%
  •      6-7%
  •      7-8%
  •      8%<
Minnesota gubernatorial election, 2006[13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tim Pawlenty (incumbent) 1,028,568 46.69
Democratic (DFL) Mike Hatch 1,007,460 45.73
Independence Peter Hutchinson 141,735 6.43
Green Ken Pentel 10,800 0.49
Independent Walt E. Brown 9,649 0.44
American Leslie Davis 3,776 0.17
Write-in 949 0.04
Total votes 2,202,937 100.00
Republican hold

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c "MN Election Results". electionresults.sos.state.mn.us. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "wcco.com - 'Impaler' Claims He Did Nothing Wrong". Archived from the original on July 16, 2006. Retrieved June 18, 2006.
  3. ^ Scanned copy of Prosecutor's Motion to Dismiss Archived March 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Sharkey v. Indiana, Ind. App. (2006)" (PDF). in.gov. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  5. ^ "GOP jumps on Dutcher's E85 misstep". November 14, 2006. Archived from the original on November 14, 2006. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  6. ^ http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/articles/index.cfm?id=27509&freebie_check&CFID=4612252&CFTOKEN=43846502&jsessionid=8830d400afe52687c441[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ http://www.startribune.com/blogs/kersten/?p=37[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Hatch concedes to Pawlenty". Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2006.
  9. ^ "2006 Governor Race Ratings for November 6, 2006" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. Retrieved October 1, 2006.
  10. ^ "Election Eve 2006: THE FINAL PREDICTIONS". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  11. ^ "2006 Gubernatorial Ratings". Senate Ratings. The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  12. ^ "Election 2006". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  13. ^ "MN Election Results". electionresults.sos.state.mn.us. Retrieved April 6, 2018.

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