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2006 United States Senate election in Minnesota

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2006 United States Senate election in Minnesota

← 2000 November 7, 2006 2012 →
Senator Amy Klobuchar 2006.JPG
Mark Kennedy, official photo portrait, color.jpg
Nominee Amy Klobuchar Mark Kennedy
Party Democratic (DFL) Republican
Popular vote 1,278,849 835,653
Percentage 58.1% 37.9%

County results
Klobuchar:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%
Kennedy:      40–50%      50–60%

U.S. senator before election

Mark Dayton
Democratic (DFL)

Elected U.S. Senator

Amy Klobuchar
Democratic (DFL)

The 2006 United States Senate election in Minnesota took place on November 7, 2006. One-term incumbent DFL U.S. Senator Mark Dayton announced in February 2005 that he would retire instead of seeking a second term. The primary elections took place on September 12, 2006. DFL nominee Amy Klobuchar won the open seat.

DFL primary



Klobuchar 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 September 29, 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.


Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic (DFL) Amy Klobuchar 294,671 92.51
Democratic (DFL) Darryl Stanton 23,872 7.49
Total votes 318,543 100.00

Republican primary



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


Republican primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Kennedy 147,091 90.21
Republican John Uldrich 10,025 6.15
Republican Harold Shudlick 5,941 3.64
Total votes 163,057 100.00

Independence primary


  • Robert Fitzgerald, public-access television executive
  • Miles W. Collins
  • Stephen Williams, salesman


Independence primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Independence Robert Fitzgerald 5,520 51.61
Independence Miles W. Collins 2,600 24.31
Independence Stephen Williams 2,575 24.08
Total votes 10,695 100.00

General election




  • Michael Cavlan (G), nurse and independent journalist
  • Ben Powers (C), quality control technician
  • Peter Idusogie (I), businessman (write-in)


Klobuchar with Barack Obama and Tim Walz.
Klobuchar with Barack Obama and Tim Walz.
Major party candidates: Kennedy, Klobuchar, and Fitzgerald.
Major party candidates: Kennedy, Klobuchar, and Fitzgerald.
Candidates Mark Kennedy, Amy Klobuchar, and Robert Fitzgerald debate on November 5, 2006.
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 appeared to be a central issue for Democrats in the campaign. In June 2006, allegations were made that many references to and photos of Bush had been removed from Kennedy's official U.S. 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][permanent dead link] Ben Powers was the only ballot-qualified candidate not invited to appear on Minnesota Public Television's Almanac program, despite Powers's offer to fill the space left unfilled by Klobuchar's decision not to appear with Kennedy and Fitzgerald on the program. Green candidate Michael Cavlan appeared on the program twice during the campaign as a special guest.



After the release of the Minnesota Poll on September 17, 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.".[3] 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 sportswriter for the paper until his retirement. A subsequent poll by Rasmussen Reports showed a similar lead for Klobuchar and the St. Paul Pioneer Press also showed Klobuchar with a 15% lead in September. Klobuchar won the November 7 election by more than 20 percentage points.

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


The race was, as expected, not close, with Klobuchar winning decisively. She did well in major cities, such as Minneapolis and St. Paul, while Kennedy did well only in smaller, less populated counties. The turnout was high, although not unusual for Minnesota, one of the highest voter turnout states. Official turnout came in at 70.64%.

General election results
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic (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% +0.15%
Write-ins 954
Majority 443,196 20.2%
Turnout 2,202,772 70.64%
Democratic (DFL) hold Swing

See also


  1. ^ a b "". Retrieved May 21, 2011.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 12, 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Mark Kennedy for Senate Archived October 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine

External links

This page was last edited on 7 October 2020, at 18:19
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