Two thirds parties could have a major impact… in the 2010 Minnesota Gubernatorial race.
A column written by Blois Olson on Minnpost.com points out “Third-party influence” in the race for governor. The column of course points to the 1998 election of Jesse Ventura on the Independence Party ticket.
Olson says, “DFLers (Minnesota’s version of Democrats) grumble that the IP candidates' vote totals were a major factor in their nominees losing those races.” In the two gubernatorial elections since Ventura’s one term in office Independence Party candidates pulled in 16.1% and 6.4% of the vote.
That number could even be higher in 2010 for an Independent Party ticket. In the hotly contested Senatorial race between Senator Norm Coleman and Al Franken, former Senator Dean Barkley won about 15% of the vote.
Olson’s commentary does not end with Minnesota’s own Independence Party. He writes the Green Party and the Libertarian Party could play factors.
Olson believes the Libertarian Party has the chance to play a large factor if, “(the Republican) Ron Paul faction is dissatisfied with the way it's treated by Republicans or is unhappy with the GOP-endorsed candidate.”